In a possible sign of progression throughout the country, several books about same-sex parenting have been slowly making their way onto bookshelves across schools, libraries and bookstores over the past few years. A Brisbane couple is hoping to add the unique voices of two fathers to this trend of books discussing and spreading the positive message about modern families.
Unbeknownst to many outside of the LGBTI community in Queensland, the couple at the centre of the incredibly successful and controversial 2012 Rip ‘N Roll campaign for the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities are actually the proud foster parents of a young boy.
The pair started blogging about their experience in raising a young child in Queensland last year in efforts to further raise awareness of foster care issues. Recently the couple decided to share their experiences in a book detailing the lives that the family of three lead.
Due to same-sex adoption still being illegal in the state, the pair want to use the book to let the LGBTI community know that foster care was an option for many same-sex couples.
“We really wanted people to know that it is an option, so we started the blog so people could follow the story, hear about the ups and downs and ultimately know more about fostering, the process and what’s involved, we simply want to spread awareness,” Rip ‘N Roll campaigner and father Michael James told the Star Observer.
James’ primary goal is not to engage in a political debate over marriage equality and adoption/surrogacy rights, but admitted it would be a nice outcome if the book could help open some minds.
“Our story isn’t about wanting to get married, it’s about our life as a family, but if more people’s minds are opened about adoption and surrogacy rights that would be great. We write to raise awareness for both same sex families and children in care. I think the issue that many people find amazing about our story is that we get to be dads to this little man until he turns 18 but we can never be granted legal rights to adopt him.”
James saw that while there were many great stories of same-sex parenting out in the public sphere, he found there was a lack of experiences and voices from the perspective of two fathers.
“There are so few same sex families with two dads, there’s plenty with two mums but very rarely two dads… the journey of a same sex foster family just doesn’t seem to exist so far.”