For the previous 10 years or so, I have decided that I want to adopt a child or children. Starting a family takes a great amount of time, consideration and of course money. I like to think that I will be a good father, as I had such an amazing example to look up to. Being a homosexual basically means that I can’t have a child “the old fashioned way.” Now obviously I could find a surrogate to fertilize and have her carry a child for me, but why? My mother had breast cancer, I have type 1 diabetes…these are not traits I would want to pass along to any child. My ability to sing off key to any song, they way I can finish an all you can eat buffet, my impeccable wardrobe choices, these are all talents I can teach. As incredible, talented, handsome, beautiful and creative the genes are in my family, I still don’t feel the need to pass them along.
It is estimated that 140 million children worldwide are orphans. (UNICEF) That is too many. My heart breaks every time I think about children who don’t have a loving family to go home to, to take care of them, to let them know they are loved no matter what. I grew up in a family full of love, and although it wasn’t perfect, I always felt special and loved. These are the traits my parents taught me, and I want to spread the love and teach my own children this.
I do not understand people when they say “I want to have my own child, or I want him/her to be just like me.” (Insert concerned look here) “I beg your pardon, but what makes you so amazing that you need a replica? Have you considered cloning instead?” There is not one person on this planet who is so amazing that they need to have an exact copy of themselves, or have a need to produce their own offspring. (Now, if David Beckham wants to produce a few clones of himself for those of us to have around the house, I’m not going to say “no.”) In the world, there are literally millions of children who do not have a family. This could be for a number of reason, all of which are not important, what is important is that there is someone who needs a loving family. “Adopting a baby takes too long, and an older kid wouldn’t consider me their parent.” I hear that one a lot, and I can understand why some people only want a baby, being able to experience the child’s life from the very beginning. But come on. A child of any age is going to know that your love and parental nature makes you their parent. And if they are older and even knew who their parents were/are, that doesn’t mean that they are going to love you any less.
I cringe when I hear my friends say all of these things, because I know my friends are all good hearted, loving people and will be amazing parents. I try not to get on my soapbox too often around them, but I do always like to point out that there are plenty of children who do need good homes already, and instead of wasting thousands of dollars hoping to get a woman pregnant, why not spend that money on fixing up a new bedroom for a child in need. I’m always fighting one crusade or another.
In high school, I had a crazy theater teacher…not certifiably, but trust me, she was nuts. She did however have a huge heart. She and her husband, who was a police officer, were a foster family, they had so many kids in their house, and took amazing care of them all. These children were of all ages, races, genders…it didn’t matter to my teacher or her husband, they were helping these kids out in a time when they really needed it. They did have three children that they produced themselves, but that did not stop them from taking in more children. I sincerely wish that there would be more people like that in the world.
I am pleased that adoption is present in pop culture, such as the TV show Modern Family. In the show the gay couple adopted a girl from Vietnam (BTW, Vietnam does not allow gay adoptions, or single males to adopt, but I’m sure the writers were unsure if the show would be a success and figured nobody would know/care.) Now, the girl is a baby but I’ll look past it. Even as the show digresses a few season later, they show another couple who did choose surrogacy, and the main couple considered it, but finally decided that adoption would still be the best choice for them, should they want another child.
Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, setup The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. He himself was adopted, and I love that he cared so much that he took the time, energy and money to set up such an amazing organization. I encourage everyone to take a look at their site and donate the money if you are able, or if you’re considering starting a family, take a look at what the adoption process is all about.
Adoption is a very big deal, it requires a lot of time and energy….but if you wan to start a family, you could change the life of someone who really needs your help. I hope that in a few years, I can write a new post about the experience of adoption and how it has (greatly) changed my life.