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Temporary Dads by Graeme


colinian

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The first chapter of Graeme's new story is heart-wrenching. It is the start of what promises to be a tale unlike anything I remember seeing on AwesomeDude. It is definitely a must-read.

It's here: http://awesomedude.com/graeme/temporary-dads/index.htm

Colin :icon_geek:

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Wonderful story. Characters are absolutely authentic and the story is a delight to follow.

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Doug and I have been talking about adopting. A boy, preferably. This story is making us have second thoughts about adopting a younger child. Nine or ten years old minimum might less stressful.

BTW, the daycare availability problem he describes in the story (in Australia) is the same here (in the SF Bay Area). Our neighbors three houses down both work and they have four young kids (all adopted) and they ended up having to hire a nanny to be there Monday thru Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until they were all in school. Now they have a nanny who picks up the kids at their elementary school at 2:30 p.m. and brings them home and stays there until 5:30 p.m. In both cases that's very expensive.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Colin, it's not like deciding on specs and then ordering from a catalog. You and Doug are going open yourselves to a situation where there are kids available for adoption, and some child is going to speak to your hearts. That's when you will discover how old he will be.

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Colin, it's not like deciding on specs and then ordering from a catalog. You and Doug are going open yourselves to a situation where there are kids available for adoption, and some child is going to speak to your hearts. That's when you will discover how old he will be.

We agree. One approach we're considering is fostering a child and seeing how that works out, then adopting them. The problem with this approach is that most often foster kids aren't available for adoption because one parent and/or other relative is present.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Often, too, foster children have been in the system, have been in several homes, and are no longer sweet, innocent young things. A lot of foster children have multiple problems. It often takes a lot of patience and experience to deal with them. Now that the kids aren't worth the effort. They are. But for a first time parent, they can be overwhelming.

C

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​I can see that Graeme is in no hurry to bring us to any conclusions on this story...I like that.

​What we have so far is a catalog of the issues new parents face when dealing with small children, especially those who have been traumatized by events in their young lives. He is handling this with such care and insight. I am not sure I would be able to see all the problems that might arise with the characters in this story but I am sure Graeme will address them at some point. Well done, kudos to the author.

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  • 3 months later...

I don't know how the Australian legal system works, but in the United States the police couldn't simply remove Peter from the house on the basis of Child Protective Services (because the boys aren't wards of CPS), or prevent Alan from having Troy and Bradley in the house if Peter was present, unless the evidence was presented to the District Attorney who then went to a judge who filed a writ to have him and the children separated. Alan and Peter would be able to appear at a hearing and provide testimony by Troy and by witnesses. What would be issued is a stay-away order for Peter, which means he could be at the house if the children were not present, or in school and at daycare.

I assume that there's enough similarity in our judicial systems that, assuming this situation is resolved in Alan and Peter's favor, they could sue the Lyntons for defamation of character and if they win they could obtain a stay-away order preventing the Lyntons from being anywhere near the boys.

Colin  :icon_geek:

 

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Colin, I don't know the ins-and-outs of the legal system, but I'm aware of someone whose boyfriend was prohibited from having contact with her children for a year because he smacked one of them once. The boy in question complained to his father, and the department of human service put in place an order to prevent him from being near the children. Emergency orders can be placed at short notice, but then require a follow-up session with a judge to continue them. Emergency orders are usually for short periods of time, generally not more than two or three weeks. After a court appearance, the order can be cancelled, modified, or extended.

 

Please note that the child in question does not have to be a ward of the state or previously seen by child protection services. If the department of police believe a child is at risk, they can act to get an emergency order in place.

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4 hours ago, Graeme said:

Colin, I don't know the ins-and-outs of the legal system, but I'm aware of someone whose boyfriend was prohibited from having contact with her children for a year because he smacked one of them once. The boy in question complained to his father, and the department of human service put in place an order to prevent him from being near the children. Emergency orders can be placed at short notice, but then require a follow-up session with a judge to continue them. Emergency orders are usually for short periods of time, generally not more than two or three weeks. After a court appearance, the order can be cancelled, modified, or extended.

 

Please note that the child in question does not have to be a ward of the state or previously seen by child protection services. If the department of police believe a child is at risk, they can act to get an emergency order in place.

An emergency protective order where there's demonstrable proof, like pictures or corroboration by independent witnesses, can be issued by the police in the case where a child has been abused. This type of protective order is limited in time (which may vary by state, though I don't have any of those details); in California it's good for one week. Then a permanent restraining order can be applied for and, if the judge agrees, issued by the court. In California a permanent restraining order can be issued with a term of up to 5 years; they can have a specific term or termination date, and they can be renewed by going to court. Note that the emergency protective order and the permanent restraining order have different names.

Colin  :icon_geek:

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Thank you! While I could've kept writing, the climax had arrived and passed, and I didn't want to keep the story dragging on. If I did, I'd have to find another climax, and I didn't want to take the risk of descending into melodrama. I can also now start work on some other projects I have in mind :smile:

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This has been a wonderfully thoughtful behind-the-scenes look at the real world of being a gay couple becoming temporary dads—or even permanent ones.  The threats are real and Graeme teaches us that preparation, awareness, and sensitivity to the issues that will always befall gay parents are all part of the package.  But the rewards are immense for those brave enough to undertake this responsibility. 

Thank you, Graeme, for guiding us through this journey.

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Graeme - Only one complaint to offer about the story -- it ended!

What a great tale with vivid characters and wonderful complexity. It's interesting to see the similarities and differences among people and places. But now I'm quite curious what will become of this motley crew in 5, 10, and 20 years. You're going to force me to dust off my imagination. And I thank you for getting me this far.

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Thank you, Merkin and Chris!

The problems that arise from being gay parents, as distinct to the problems all parents face, are real, but level of intensity will vary from place to place, culture to culture. My personal feeling is that in urban Australia, there are homophobes, but they are a definite minority. The majority will be either indifferent or supportive, and that's what I tried to show in this story. Most supporting characters were either supportive or didn't seem to care that Alan and Peter are gay. A few objected or made negative comments, but even though they may only be a few, they can still cause problems.

Interestingly, I remember seeing some videos by Dan Savage when he visited Georgia (I think) a couple of years ago. Despite the people he spoke to being against same-sex marriage, they didn't seem to have a problem with him as an individual being in a same-sex relationship and raising a daughter. It's something else that I firmly believe -- that there are some people who may be homophobic when presented with abstract concepts, but when a real-world human example is put in front of them, they can show compassion. Things can be different and attitudes can change when there's a real person in front of you, rather than a mental picture of a stereotype.

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Excellent story with a very happy ending. Except, I hope, for how the grandparents on the Lynton side feel about the results. Revenge can also be part of a happy ending.

Colin  :icon_geek:

 

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