Tony McClay Porter and Danny Porter started to consider having a child about 2 years ago. As a school child therapist and a clinical social worker for 10 years, Danny had worked with “many amazing children,” some of them in the foster care system. Knowing there were so many foster children in need of a loving home made the couple’s decision to adopt from foster care an easy one.
I am a single dad who has provided foster care to 26 youngsters over the past 10 years. Two of them, brothers Xavier and Nathaniel, have recently become my sons through adoption. The boys were relieved to finally know that they will remain with their loving father who has cared for them since they arrived as a preschooler and a baby.
When Mike and Jim finally saw Tristan’s profile on the Oregon pages of the Northwest Adoption Exchange, they had been considering starting a family for years. As a psychologist and a teacher, respectively, they felt their backgrounds had equipped them with “the tools necessary to provide a loving, stable home for a son who may have had a difficult or inconsistent first few years of life.” Adoption from the foster care system seemed the best choice based on what they thought they could offer a new child. “We were a couple with love and guidance and support to give, and there were already many children in the world in need of that,” Jim reflects.
After years of wanting, months of planning and even more months of waiting, the dream of creating a family is now becoming a reality for my partner and me. As I look back on our journey, the path to parenthood looks very different now than it did when we took our first steps. Starting out, we immediately found ourselves at a crossroads and had to make some very important decisions on what direction to take. We agreed that adopting through foster care was the best fit for us. Aside from the fact that surrogacy was cost-prohibitive; being biologically connected to our child wasn’t a priority for either of us. Private adoption was a close runner up, but ultimately, we recognized and appreciated that there are so many children in the foster care system that need a forever home. So, that was it, we turned our sites on the foster care system and started on our way.
Sandis and I were both born and raised in Maine and met in the years right after college, through mutual friends, in the city we were living in at the time, Portland, Maine.
I had always hoped to be a parent but in the early years of our relationship, Sandis was not as sure. As a young couple we did many of the things that couples without children more freely enjoy – traveled a lot, regular dinners out, etc. but I think a lot of his feelings about parenting as gay man were more deeply formed by the world we grew up in – conservative, rural, and no visible models of gay parents. I think for Sandis especially, being a gay dad just didn’t really even feel like an option.