Card image cap
Card image cap

Motivations for male couples to adopt in Quebec and their preference for age, sex, and ethnic origin of the child

Éric Feugé, Thomas Girard-Pelletier, Charlotte Dupont

Research Framework: Compared to lesbian women, gay men face more barriers that may hinder their intention to parent. In addition to biological constraints, they live in a heterosexist society that traditionally places the role of caregiver to women. The gay community often defines itself outside of parenting. In Quebec, thanks to Bill 84 of 2002, same-sex couples have access to domestic adoption through Child Protective Services (CPS), which allows them to choose several characteristics of their child.

Objectives: The aim of the study is to examine the genesis of the desire for fatherhood of male couples in Quebec and their motivations for choosing domestic adoption over another mode of access to parenthood, as well as their preference for the age, sex and ethnic origin of their child.

Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with sixty-nine fathers met in their home. The interview transcripts were thematically analyzed with Nvivo.

Results: The results indicate that a majority of fathers have had a strong desire for fatherhood for a very long time and chose adoption mainly out of altruistic consideration. Most fathers did not have a preference for the characteristics of their children except for age (under 2 years old). When preferences were expressed, they were mostly for white boys.

Conclusion: The discussion highlights that in the discourse of these gay men, their desire for parenthood does not seem to stand out from that of other fathers, but that heteronormativity impacts their motivations to become adoptive fathers. Gender stereotypes and intersectionality are also discussed to explain preferences related to children’s gender and ethnicity.

Contribution: This study addresses the lack of data on gay adoptive fathers in Quebec. It will help to dispel any preconceptions that they may have about the adoption process.