National Adoption Month: Duane and Regi’s Story
November 20, 2009
“Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Family” is a series of conversations and blog posts celebrating National Adoption Month. This post in the series comes from Duane Taylor. Duane and his partner Regi adopted three children from foster care six years ago. Perhaps you’ve seen the HRC’s All Children – All Families Promising Practices Guide? That’s us on the cover. So how’d that beautiful family come to be? My partner Regi and I adopted three beautiful children through foster care adoption about six years ago. I would love to tell you that the process for us went very smoothly, but the truth is that we did have some challenges. We did not encounter direct discrimination based on our sexual orientation – the agency we worked with has a very strong anti-discrimination policy, however, our challenge was that our social workers did not “drive” the adoption process, yet we were relying on them to do so. We quickly found that we had to be advocates for ourselves and take a more proactive role in the process. One would think that social workers, particularly in public agencies, would be bending over backwards to ensure that children who are waiting for permanent families, and for whom a prospective match awaits, would be expedited through the process. Unfortunately, most social workers in public agencies have tremendously large case loads and are often “ putting out fires” or addressing potentially dangerous situations to protect children, and as a result may not have adequate time to address some of the needs of the families who are waiting for children to be placed. Our number one piece of advice to prospective parents is to remain involved in the process and to be prepared to advocate for your new family by pressing for visitation, transition steps to move the children from foster placement to your home, and to finalize the adoption as soon as possible. Be firm but kind to all parties in the process. The social workers want to find loving homes for the children; we need to provide them with a helping hand to ensure that our dreams of being parents can come to fruition. My beloved partner was instrumental in navigating the adoption process with the social worker, and calming me down so that all went smoothly. It has now been several years since we adopted our children (two brothers and one sister) and I am delighted to say that they are truly wonderful, and they are thriving. I must share with you that parenting is a full-time job – and the best and most rewarding job we’ve ever had. Parenting requires constant focus and energy, and although you go through many phases as your children grow, each is different and presents its own set of challenges. Be loving and patient with your children, consistent in your communication with them, and firm in the values that you hope to instill in them. Parenting is a wonderful gift and a lot of work! Best of luck to you all!
May 17, 2013