Surrogacy Story: Chapter 3, The Old Fashioned Way

on November 3, 2012
Soup Kitchen

Waiting in line…

Adoption in Spain is a government-controlled industry.  There are no private adoption agencies where a young girl goes online and chooses a handsome gay couple to hand her baby over to, with the promise that they’ll provide it with a life of fabulous designer clothing and first-class travel.

In Spain, adoption is like going to the soup kitchen.  You fill out the appropriate paperwork and stand in line.  There is no alternative.   The wait is long – and we were advised it would take about 3 years.  But the Spanish government fills your time by requiring special parenting courses, psychological evaluations, marriage counseling, and more parenting classes.

I actually think that nobody should be allowed to become pregnant without parenting classes like these.  But oh well, reproductive rights are a touchy subject, and I won’t dwell on that topic.  Suffice to say, they were lengthy. And they would have been helpful had they not been in Catalan – and I don’t speak a word of Catalan (despite living in Barcelona for 8 years).  But the courses did provide a sense that you were starting a grand and important enterprise.  It’s as if the Spanish government was saying: You are going to be parents, so you better get ready… idiots!

Looking back, the classes didn’t prepare us for squat.   They should have classes on buttoning onesies in the dark, measuring the temperature of bathwater with your elbow, or making coffee with only one free hand.

But we went through the classes.  Gay adoption is legal in Spain, and our graduating class from adoption school was 80% gay couples.  We felt vindicated.  We (the fabulous and colorful people) had overcome, and we now sat astride the mountaintop.

But it was not to be.

After the classes, we waited.  A couple of years went by and the entire adoption concept began to fade and became less real.  By year #3 it had diminished to an amusing story to tell at nightclubs – how we’re expecting a call any day with news about our adopted child.  But it had devolved into allegory, and become merely allusory.

The reason for the wait is that the Spanish government would not petition the adoption of foreign children for us.  Most foreign governments don’t permit their children to be adopted by same-sex couples; and in Spain we were married – there was no pretending we were single straight parents looking to adopt.  We were left with only the home-grown, Spanish children… and there is a notable shortage of broken homes in Spain to provide children to the rest of us.

So we waited a long, long time.  Until we ran into a couple, Barcelona friends, also married in Spain, returning from California with two beautiful boys.

The boys had been born via Surrogacy.  Which is where the story gets interesting.

To be continued…


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