Stage 2 has officially started.
We had a 2.5 hour session with the social worker talking about our relationship and support networks.
We were asked questions about how we met, why we think our relationship works, how it might change when we have children, and things like that. Nothing massively intrusive, just a kind of getting to know you session.
Something we were asked, which I had been expecting so was prepared for, was how to explain to the children about the fact they have two dads. Children, especially younger ones, tend to accept their family for what it is. They don’t realise that their family is different until they encounter the differences, and it is the job of the parent to prepare a child for this. It will always happen, whether you are a gay couple, a single parent, a parent and step-parent, or “just” mum and dad. The key is that ALL families are different and it doesn’t matter what form they take, the important thing is that they love and support one another. Regardless of how a family is made up they should be accepted for who and what they are.
In my opinion, in this day and age, this sort of question is something that all parents should be looking to deal with. Clearly this is something that same-sex parents will always have to address very early on because the differences are obvious. But a heterosexual couple with birth children may not have to, so their children may not come in contact with families that are obviously different until later on in their development. Society hasn’t yet got to the stage where we are all accepting of people’s differences but, despite certain political movements to the contrary, I like to think that it is getting there and is improving. Teaching children acceptance of different family units regardless of how your own is formed has got to be the way forward hasn’t it?
Sorry, that was a bit preachier than my normal post!
Anyway, next session is in a week’s time and I’m actually looking forward to it.