Adoption and Polyamory
April 17, 2013 5:16 PM Subscribe
What are the chances an openly polyamorous couple could adopt an older child from the foster system?
posted by tomatofruit to Law & Government (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I posted this on /r/polyamory and got some good info, but I'm hoping I might get a few other perspectives.
Our daughter is 4 now, and like many moms do once their little ones are walking and talking, I've been thinking about having another one. Pregnancy is not an option for me for a couple of reasons, so if we did want to expand our family, we'd have to adopt.
I've always been open to the idea of adoption, and the idea of adopting an older child from the foster system is especially appealing. I had a pretty rough childhood myself, so I feel I'm especially qualified to deal with the unique challenges this sort of adoption can bring.
My question is, does anyone have experience with adoption or fostering while openly or semi-openly poly? I have been scouring the internet for information or encouragement, and turning up nothing. I've only been able to find people who either adopted before their relationship opened up, or who just didn't mention polyamory during the process. Just keeping my mouth shut isn't really a good idea for two reasons:
1) We're not exactly stealthy. Husband has a girlfriend, and I have a boyfriend. We don't hide things from our daughter (with age-appropriateness in mind--we only hold hands or cuddle in front of her) and we wouldn't do so with a second child, either. There has even been some talk of buying a two-family building with my boyfriend and his wife, with perhaps some amount of shared living space. The fact that we're poly is likely to come out sometime during the homestudy process.
2) More importantly, trust can be a HUGE issue for kids adopted from the foster system. They've often been abused, neglected, and have had very little permanency in their lives. If we wanted to stay "under the radar," we would either have to hide things from the child (leading to issues later when they inevitably found out or figured it out), or ask the child to lie and/or conceal things for us ("Oh, he's just a friend of the family."). Neither of these would be healthy for the child.
To be clear: we are interested in adoption only, NOT fostering. We would not be able to handle bonding with a child and then having to give it up, so we would only be considering children whose parents have already terminated parental rights.
So...has anyone tried to adopt while being open about being poly? I would love to hear about it, whether it was successful or not.