Very little material exists on the experiences of gay men and lesbians who have adopted, fostered or provided respite care for children. This book presents a collection of personal accounts, based on interviews and written testimonies, by lesbian and gay parents from many different social and ethnic backgrounds. Their stories record good and bad experiences, but overall, the accounts are positive and emphasise the rewards of parenting. This book will dispel a lot of misconceptions: it will also be useful to gay men and lesbians who are thinking about adopting or fostering children.
Stephen Hicksis a lecturer in Social Work in the Department of Applied Community Studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University. He has been researching lesbian and gay fostering since 1992, and is a founder member of the Northern section of LAGFAPN (Lesbian and Gay Foster and Adoptive Parents Network). He has been a social worker for children under 11 years old at a voluntary organization in Manchester and has also worked in community mental health services. Janet McDermottis also a member of LAGFAPN Northern group. She works part-time as Co-Ordinator of an Asian Women's Training Project in Sheffield, and is also a writer and freelance trainer. Previously, she worked as a secondary school teacher and as a refuge worker. She and her partner have adopted a ten-year-old girl.
Foreword. Introduction. The Stories: Nita and Clare - `Arranged Parenting'. Simon - `Heavy-Duty Kids?' Kate - `A Mechaiya - A Complete Joy...' Emma and Louise - `Staying Power'. Paul and Richard - `Out of Step'. Barbara - `The Eye of the Storm'. Dfiza and Anne - `...No-One Ever Learned Us...' Mark and Paul - `Caring Across the Spectrum'. Olivette - `Single Black Lesbian'. Sarah and Christine - `The Impossible Dream'. John and Rob - `Things Might Look a Little Cloudy Now, But...' Jean and Trixie - `A Family, Not Pretend But Real!' Kath - `Matched'. Mike and Brian - `A Great Asset'. Sandra - `You may have to Count to Ten, No Twenty, Sometimes...' Elizabeth and Mary - `A Special Mother's Day Card'. Shula - `No Regrets'. Editorial Essay: Themes from the Stories. Issues of Research and Policy. Appendix: Useful Organizations. Bibliography.