In 2009, Adoptions From The Heart received a seal of recognition from the Humans Rights Campaign (HRC) as a leader in serving LGBTQ families. We have been serving the LGBTQ community since 1990 and have helped bring together many families. We have numerous success stories from families and individuals. In celebration and highlight of Pride Month, we wanted to share a recent LGBTQ family story to spread awareness about LGBTQ adoption and family building.
Travis and Daniel are a same-sex couple, and they wanted to grow their family. “We looked at all our options, and adoption felt the most right,” Travis said, “Neither [of us] felt strongly about being a biological parent, and we felt [adoption] was the best fit, and there are many children in need of families.”
Travis and Daniel decided on adoption and began searching for the right agency for them. First, they started talking to people they knew who had adopted or any connection to adoption to find out more information and personal experiences. “Once you start talking to people about adoption, most people have some connection to adoption,” Travis shared, “It was so interesting to see all the connections to the adoption community.” First, many people recommended AFTH, and then they decided it was the best fit for them. “It was founded right in my hometown, so it felt even more right,” Travis shared, “The focus on birth parents and the care that social workers take with birth families felt very genuine, which is the feeling you want from an adoption agency.”
Travis and Daniel started their process in March 2018 when they spoke with Bethany, one of our social workers. By September 2018, they were in the books. “Our goal was to get in the books as quickly as we could. AFTH was great about providing us lists and making sure we were on the right track to getting everything done,” Travis explained. “All the courses provided were exceptional and super informative, and we met really interesting people going through the [adoption] process.”
Travis and Daniel attended the Waiting Family Support Group AFTH during the waiting period and found it very helpful. “Every other month, we went to Brooklyn and met with [social worker] Rebekah and several other families.” AFTH provides support groups with the aim to create a sense of community for waiting families and share different experiences. “One thing that was surprising was hearing other people’s family building journeys,” Travis shared. “We were on the first stop in our family building journey, but it was interesting to meet other people who were going through the process, and it was their third or fourth stop in their [family building] journey. I had not had to think about pregnancy or infertility, so it was
interesting to learn about other people’s process, coming from a different energy than we were, and we were all cheerleading each other on”.
Getting the Call
Travis and Daniel waited 18 months. “We followed the recommendation always to have a car seat. But then we had been waiting a year and Rebekah recommended to do something special every month, such as buying something for the baby, and we did that. Then when COVID hit in April of 2020, AFTH recommended to have a week’s worth of stuff for a baby in case we couldn’t when placed. And then end of May 2020 we were matched”.
They got an email to consider the situation, and they said yes. “Kristin [social worker] called a couple of days later saying that the birth mother picked us and would be due in about four weeks,” Travis said. “There was potential that the birth mother may deliver early, but we were told not to worry. On Monday, she called us again, and they were inducing the birth mother tomorrow night”.
The baby was delivered on Tuesday, and Travis and Daniel were informed that she could be taken home before Friday. “The baby was incredibly robust, and they called that she could be picked up the next day [Wednesday]. It was the most surreal, magical experience [meeting the baby].” Travis and Daniel took the baby home that day. As Travis best describes, “It was zero to baby in 5 days!”
Advice for other LGBTQ Families Looking to Adopt
When Travis and Daniel first started their adoption process, they asked their social worker the frequency and outcome for LGBTQ families. Travis shared that the best advice given to him was “when you are making your profile book, and everything you do throughout the process, you should authentically present yourself because you want your birth family to choose you as you are,” Travis explained. “As you got through the world as an LGBTQ person, I think you’re constantly negotiating how do I present myself in this situation for the best possible outcome, and it was nice for someone to say you just have to be yourself because that is why someone is going to pick you.” And that is precisely why Travis and Daniel were picked.
The birth family was looking specifically for a same-sex couple. “Frequently, I think being an LGBTQ family is a challenge, but in this case, it was an asset, which was nice.” Travis’s advice is for other LGBTQ families adopting is, “Be yourself and don’t try to be anyone different because you want someone to pick you for exactly who you are.”
“And use Adoptions From The Heart because they are the best.”