The Biggest Changes Come in the Smallest Packages
I know my posts have been lacking for the past year but I have done a lot of soul-searching and cleanup around my home and in my life to prepare myself to become a good father to a child. I can't promise that I'll be writing lots over the next little while, I anticipate life is going to get very very busy quickly and I want this blog to remain a subject of my experiences as a trans person. Any posts that I write in the future will be still be related to how being trans affects my life. I may start a second blog about being a single trans parent but we'll see just how much time I actually have!
I wondered about whether or not transgender people would be "allowed" to adopt a child so I called the department before even bothering to fill out the application forms. Absolutely YES was the answer I received. Thank goodness the priority is on finding children suitable homes and not on what types of genitals a person has.
I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it means to be a man, deciding what kind of man I want to be, and then trying to make sure that my actions and behaviour are aligned towards that goal. Is my behaviour reflective of the kind of man I want to be? When I do something or say something I often spend a lot of time worrying that I was insensitive and think about ways I can interact with the world that are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others without neglecting my own. It's a harder balance than you might imagine at first. The thing is, I am now putting myself through another ongoing evaluation about being a parent.
I've always imagined myself adopting a child. Even 20 years ago I was thinking adoption. I never wanted to reproduce biologically. To me it seemed like such a shame to have children when there were so many children already in need of a family. After transitioning, and as a single man, it is my only option – another reason I am so grateful that there was no issues with the process.
When I was finally settled, with a good job, no debt, and happy in my transition, it was finally time to start seriously considering adoption. I had to be really focused and realistic about why I wanted to do this and consider how this would change my life and how having a transgender parent would affect my child. And here's the thing about that. I bet any child won't care as long as they have a happy loving, supportive family and a home. If you had the choice to remain an orphan or have a queer family who will love you and support you forever, which would you choose?
The application process, self-assessment and home study are more than just screening criteria. They are also valuable tools for prospective parents to understand and get at the reasons they want to be parents, the expectations, they have about what parenting will be like, and sometimes a basic reality-check.
So there you have it. Sometime in the next few weeks I'll become a single trans Dad to one special little boy. After all the paperwork, interviews and consideration I have put into the application and the amount of time and preparation I have put into thinking about what sorts of issues I'll have to prepare for, I am both excited and terrified – just like every parent.