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First openly gay man to adopt a child in Canada reveals struggle in memoir

First openly gay man to adopt a child in Canada reveals struggle in memoir

Canadian man first to adopt a child writes memoir

David McKinstry has released a memoir about his journey to become a father twenty years after he became the first openly gay Canadian man to adopt children.

The book charts McKinstry’s, from Peterborough, quest as he battled governments from Canada and abroad in order to raise a child of his own. The book is called Rebel Dad: Triumphing over Bureaucracy to Adopt Two Orphans Born Worlds Apart.

It wasn’t until 1997 that he was even given the chance to adopt, after being given a phone call by the then-immigration minister Lucienne Robillard.

Talking to CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, he said: ‘In 1979 I tried [to adopt] as a single man in Vancouver and I was told: “Why would we give a single person a child over a couple?”

He was also asked questions like: ‘Are you trying to home grow your own play toy?’

Eventually, he was told he would be a test case for international adoption. The Canadian government sent out adoption requests to 13 different countries, however all replied saying they ‘don’t give to homosexuals’.

The claims the only reason he got the call from India in the first place is because they changed the name of his recently deceased spouse’s name from Nick to Nicky.

A twist of fate

He got the chance to visit 18 orphanages to find a child. Three months later, the director of the last orphanage rang him.

He told the radio station: ‘She said, “We’ve got a little boy. He was found clutching the corpse of his mother in a back alley. If you want him, he’s yours”.

‘She didn’t have to ask twice.’

Then while he waited to give the boy a home, he was given the opportunity to adopt another son.

The Children’s Wish Foundation asked him to give a room to a woman who was living with HIV. She was barred from flying because she was ill with AIDS-related illnesses, but they tried to send her on a last holiday to Disneyland with her four-year-old son.

The pair spoke about his plight to adopt a boy from India. This prompted the woman to ask McKinstry to adopt her son and give him a brother.

The boys are now 25 and 26. Unfortunately, McKinstry was recently diagnosed with cancer, which is why we has written the memoir. He’s hoping the tale will encourage more people to adopt.

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