Adopting as an LGBT Couple in Michigan
So with all the many things going on in mine and my partner’s life at the moment, we decided to start talking about a very important decision. My partner Darren proposed to me last October and since then we have moved in together and have begun discussing wedding plans. This combined with moving and the holidays have made the last few months extremely hectic.
Since the holidays have passed, Darren and I have been talking about another step in our lives that we want to take together. If anyone read my previous blog, you would know that we have discussing starting a family. We have thought that since the process of having children is a little more extensive and lengthy in time then for most, we might as well start discussing it now. Also, my mother-in-law keeps asking us, so we don’t want to wait forever!
As my last blog stated, surrogacy is completely out of the question for us. We live in Michigan and in Michigan, surrogacy is illegal, being punishable with a $50,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison for all parties involved. For a while, I felt a little defeated and hopeless. Since Michigan does not recognize LGBT relationship legally, adoption, in my opinion, would be impossible. Michigan would only recognize 1 of us, which I assumed would make it a lot more difficult. I thought us starting a family, something I have always wanted, was impossible.
So I decided that I was not going to just sit by and let this be. I started a petition which has been passing through the internet getting many signatures to repeal the current Michigan surrogacy law. I also decided to do something else. It hit me one morning that I may not exactly know everything there is to know about adoption.
I have a good friend who works for the Michigan Department of Child Protective Services. I emailed her one morning and asked her for her opinion on adoption. She gave me a few suggestions like Foster Care and Ward of the State. She then gave me an email to her good friend who works in the same county as I do in the Foster Care Department. Her friend and her wife are finalizing their adoption of their son this June. My friend thought they would be a great resource to Darren and I, since their situation is exactly the same as ours, a same-sex couple adopting a child.
I emailed her and I asked her some pretty standard questions. I asked her if both of them were considered for the adoption. She answered that in Michigan, it was a single parent adoption, but not as difficult as I had thought it was. She also offered to meet with Darren and I one Saturday over coffee to answer any questions we may have.
This is incredibly exciting for Darren and I. We actually have a glimpse of hope for a family. With all the laws against LGBT relationships in Michigan, this is an exciting situation. I have always wanted to be a dad, and now I am getting incredibly excited. For the first time, this is a possibility. There are a few steps we have to go through first, we need to be licensed as Foster Parents, which is not a problem at all.
I will keep updating this blog on the steps we take in becoming a family.