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Gay dads adopt boy, after lesbian moms adopt his sisters

Gay dads adopt boy, after lesbian moms adopt his sisters

Gay dads and lesbian moms adopted Amy, Ben and Candice

Lesbian moms Abi and Kim Flintoft, 40 and 37, thought they’d never become moms after a few failed IUI attempts.

But little did they know they’d eventually end up with one of the most modern families in existence.

The Newcastle-based lesbian couple met 17 years ago. Abi proposed to Kim on New Year’s Eve 2007 and they tied the knot exactly one year later – NYE 2008.

Then they decided to start their journey to parenthood in 2009, via IUI – the process of inserting sperm directly into the uterus.

They applied for a sperm donor at the Life Centre in Newcastle and waited 18 months to reach the top of the list.

The centre then offered the lesbian couple two potential sperm donors. They chose the one with the most information.

Over the course of three years, they spent over £8,000 ($10,500) on treatments, fertility drugs and medical fees.

After four failed attempts, they were losing hope. Then Abi fell pregnant on the fifth try.

The couple were elated.

Kim and Abi
Photo: supplied

Kim told Gay Star News what happened next: ‘Abi started to bleed a little bit so when we went back to get it checked. They said she’d lost the baby.’

The news hit the couple hard.

Kim said: ‘After that, we just said we needed a break from it all. We booked a holiday with my mum to have a bit of a break and we decided that we didn’t want to continue and we’d go down a different path.

‘That was when we decided to go down the adoption route,’ she said.

Starting the path to adoption

When the lesbian couple returned from their holiday in October 2013, they decided to go to an open night at Newcastle Council to find out information about how the adoption process would happen.

We hadn’t really looked into it that much at the time,’ Kim said. ‘We listened to people tell their story and we talked to a social worker.

‘They told us we’re eligible to adopt and there’s no problems,’ she said.

So they registered their interest and the very next day, they received a call to ask if two social workers could come over and interview them.

The meeting went well and the two social workers asked if they wanted to proceed with the mandatory police and council checks.

The lesbian couple agreed.

Abi and Kim
Photo: supplied

They passed all of the checks and then got a call from another friendly social worker.

The social worker asked: ‘When can I come around and meet you and sort out doing interviews?’

Kim joked the social worker became their ‘best friend’ for the next three to four months.

She said: ‘She was at the house all the time – I’d come in from work and she was there. We got to know her really, really well and and she asked us loads of personal questions.

‘We told her about our life,’ she said.

Kim got to know them so well that she put together a pack about them and took them to a panel interview in April 2014.

Abi and Kim passed the second stage of checks with flying colors.

A miraculous turnaround

Soon after their successful panel meeting, their social worker sent them a piece of paper with some basic details about two little girls.

The social worker said: ‘This is just how it would be presented to you if you did want to know more information. And then if you are interested in the children, then you’d be sent the proper full pack.’

Abi and Kim agreed.

Candice and Amy
Candice and Amy. | Photo: supplied

The social worker then sent the lesbian couple a file with more details of the girls – Candice and Amy. They were three and four years old at the time.

Kim said: ‘There wasn’t one thing in the file that me and Abi felt like we couldn’t cope with.’

Next thing we know, we have this meeting with the council and we’re planning out when we’re actually going to meeting the children,’ she added.

The actual adoption process only ended up taking around nine months.

It was a really good process,’ Kim said. ‘It’s so well-thought out.’

Kim and Abi take a selfie with Amy and Candice
Kim and Abi, with Amy and Candice. | Photo: supplied

Abi and Kim later found out their social worker was chatting to people behind the scenes and perfectly matched the couple with children she thought they’d mesh well with.

Kim added: ‘The social worker gets to know you inside out so then she can match you with the right children, which are meant for you,’ she said.

Their application was approved by April and Amy and Candice moved in 31 July 2014.

Oh brother!

During this whole process, Abi and Kim found out Amy and Candice had a brother named Ben.

Social services initially put forward all three of the children to be adopted together, but when no one stepped forward, they decided to split them up.

Kim said: ‘It was the right decision.

‘The girls take up a lot of time because they’re so close that he kind of got a bit pushed out and he didn’t have the attention that he needed,’ she said.

Gay dads Lee and Martin stepped forward to adopt Ben, now 9.

Lee and Martin with Ben
Lee and Martin with Ben. | Photo: supplied

In fact, there was only a couple of weeks between the adoption of the girls and the adoption of Ben – the end of July for Candice and Amy, then the middle of August for Ben.

They weren’t apart that long,’ Kim explained. ‘We’ve been in contact with the dads since day one.’

She continued: ‘Now Ben’s on his own, he’s just flying. He’s loving school and he’s got lots of friends and family.

‘He’s really happy and he gets all the attention he needs from his dads. So it’s worked out great,’ she said.

Ben, with gay dads Martin and Lee
Photo: supplied

Abi and Kim are based in Newcastle, while Lee and Martin are based in Manchester. It’s about a two and a half hour journey from door to door.

They constantly keep in touch via FaceTime, as well as regular meet ups.

In fact, they all attended Manchester Pride this year together.

‘It’s now an annual thing,’ Kim said. ‘When we meet up, we watch the parade and go for food.’

They also visit each other on overnight trips or meet in the middle between Manchester and Newcastle. They go to parks and activities that are local.

Candice Abi Kim and Amy
Photo of the family at Pride. | Photo: supplied

Kim said: ‘‘Every time I talk about it, I could cry because it’s just worked out so well.

‘It’s so perfect – I couldn’t have asked for anything better,’ she said.

A flexible working arrangement

Kim works in the customer relations team at npower in Houghton-le-Spring, North-East England.

She said: ‘npower were really supportive through everything.

‘From the very beginning when I had to go to appointments with my wife and starting the process of the IUI treatment, to going through the adopting process, I kept them informed of everything that was happening.

‘Then because the process was so quick with the girls moving in with us, sorting out maternity with npower was brilliant.

Kids
Photo: supplied

‘Then returning to work as well. I work part-time so I can pick them up and drop them off at school. I’ve had no stumbling blocks with npower whatsoever.’

Whenever Kim had to swap a day off for various appointments, her work was completely understanding.

‘They were absolutely perfect,’ she said.

 

npower is a proud partner of Gay Star News.

See also:

Congress rejects bill giving adoption agencies a ‘license to discriminate’

Tom Daley hits back at those who ask why he and Dustin chose surrogacy over adoption

Gay dads petition against US bill that threatens adoption rights