A gay Scots couple say their children have never questioned having two dads after they adopted two boys six years ago.
Stevan Blackwood and his partner Denis made the decision to look into adoption despite admitting that even at that time there “was still a lot of negativity towards same sex couples.”
But the Edinburgh couple have never looked back – and now they’re sharing their experience in a bid to encourage LGBTQ+ adoption.
Stevan, 37, and Denis, 42, had initially hoped to adopt a baby before they were matched with two young brothers, reports Edinburgh Live.
With things going “really quickly” from there, they had sent videos to the foster carer boys sharing things about their lives, home and themselves.
Stevan said: “Because they had already been watching these videos, they already knew us as Dad and Daddy from the clips.
“So the first time we met them, we went down to England and when we got out the car they shouted ‘there’s Dad and Daddy’ and I got so emotional.”
A perfect match, the boys were soon relocated to Edinburgh to live with Denis and Stevan – and the couple say the kids have never been phased by the fact they are a same sex couple.
Initially concerned their sexuality would be a concern when it came to adoption, Stevan says the reality was far from it.
He said: “We were always that bit dubious about whether or not adoption agencies would look upon us as different, but when we went into Scottish Adoption they were so welcoming.
“As we went through the process there were comments mentioned, not by the agency but by people we know, people asked if we were worried if our kids would get bullied and we said no, we’re giving them a loving home.
“I think even though we’ve moved on there’s still that kind of notion that two dads is wrong for some people, but I think we always answer that and even schools are doing so much more to educate about that now.
“The whole aspect of the boys having two dads, it’s never phased them and they’ve never questioned why. They’ve been asked in school ‘what’s it like having two dads’, and they think well to us it’s normal.
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“They have no issues with it, there was one time our older boy was getting bullied at one point and the bully was calling him gay, and was also saying ‘your dads are gay’ as well.
“He came home heartbroken and devastated, but then he said ‘I didn’t care that he called me gay, it was that he was being mean to you two’.
“We said that’s just some people’s attitude to being gay, they don’t understand and they think it’s something wrong, but you don’t ever have to worry about us, we’re here to look after you.”
Stevan and Denis are now advocates for a Scottish Adoption agency who were able to connect them with their now nine and seven-year-old sons.
The pair have been involved in multiple LGBTQ+ talks for the organization, to help ease any concerns for same sex couples hoping to start a family.
With the next talks to be held next week, Stevan added: “When we went through the process, even at that time there was still a lot of negativity towards same sex couples but it wasn’t like bad it was just more cautious.
“I think a lot of same sex couples still think they will be alienated against, but I want to get it out there that this is happening more and more and stop it being so hidden.
“I started working with Scottish Adoption and going to events, and I think it helps me speaking to other same sex couples who might be a bit worried and reassure them they’re supported and will be treated as fairly as everyone else.”
You can find more information on Scottish Adoption’s LGBTQ+ events here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.