Never Give Up: Adoption Advice from a Canadian Gay Man Who Fought the Government…And Won

This guest post is by David McKinstry, an adoptive father. 

“In for a pound, in for penny.”  

I remember my grandparents using that old adage when they’d tell me about making the decision to leave Ireland and the United Kingdom bound for Canada in the early 20th century. They said once the decision was made, there was no turning back and they faced the fact they were “in for a pound, in for a penny” and would meet all adjustments and challenges head-on and with determination to make it work.  Likewise, I assumed that headstrong position when I decided, early in my life, that I would be a parent someday, one way or the other. 

Living through the 1980’s as a young man, it wasn’t a time in history predisposed to gay people adopting children. In 1983 I was still not ‘out’ and inquired about adoption as a single man which drew the ire of some social workers who said, “when we have couples wanting to adopt babies and children, why would we give you a child over a couple?” 

My first lover, a med student at the University of British Columbia, bought into my desire to adopt but he unfortunately passed away in a car accident. There weren’t many gay men lining up to date a guy who wanted to adopt children, so I figured I would become a single dad. However, I was still told no respectable social agency would endorse me as a candidate for adoption.  Continue reading