Just over fifty years ago, I would have been arrested in the UK for promoting the fact I was a gay male. Back then, it was inconceivable to think that gay people had the right to love, cohabit or even publicly show affection to anyone of the same sex.

Can you even begin to imagine the consequences of same sex couples or single gay people being given the right to care for or adopt children who needed the two fundamental needs of all human being: to be loved, and cared for? It was a reality far from anyone’s mind at that time.

Fast forward to present day and it is evident to see the opportunities open to the LBGTQ+ community when it comes to practising the desire of most human beings on this planet, to be a carer or potential parent to a child who needs stability and love. It is thanks to many people before my time who fought for the right of equality that allows me, a 35-year-old single gay male, to currently care for an amazing baby boy.

I wasn’t raised to believe things are not possible. In fact, I was always told that anything is possible as long as you reach hard enough through barriers to grab it. It was always my belief that I was put on this earth to be a parent; I just chose to go that one step further and concurrently care for a child in the hope that would lead onto me becoming a parent.

I started to really think about it seriously when I started to change my lifestyle about two years ago now in preparation for the changes ahead. That’s when I gave up my ‘posh’ apartment and sports car so that I could get something a little bit more sensible!

I made the decision to embark on the concurrent planning journey with the knowledge that, even if adoption is not the final outcome, I have provided love, support and stability to a little human being for as long as they are with me. I am proud to be a single gay male concurrent carer, and it is a path that I champion.

I know there are more straight-forward routes out there but for me, it was more important to give a child a home, regardless of the outcome. There are tonnes of kids out there, so I didn’t see the point of going down the surrogacy route when I could give my time to kids who were already born but just didn’t have a home of their own.

Charlie, Fostering for Adoption Carer (Concurrent Planning)