Matt's Story Name: Matt, LGBTQ+ Community Group Co-ordinator I've been a parent since: April 2015. What’s the most special part of being a parent? Even when times are hard being a parent is still the most rewarding thing to be. I love seeing our son flourish and develop throughout his time with us and becoming a wonderful young man. I beam with pride at his accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem to others, being a part of that is truly special. 2. What’s the biggest myth about LGBTQ+ parenting? Sadly there is still a lot of prejudice against LGBTQ+ families but luckily this isn't the majority of people. Some still believe that you can't adopt if you are LGBTQ+ or that if you're gay your child will be gay too. DO not let the ignorance of others put you off. If there is anything you are every unsure of then ask. 3. What do you wish you had been told at the start of your parenting journey? There are many things I know now that I didn't know back then, but a lot of this comes with time. One of the main things I would urge other adopters and prospective adopters to do is to find your tribe. Immerse yourself in a community, such as Adoption UK, so you are linked with like minded people who understand what you'll be going through. They'll be there to cheer you on through the good times and the bad. There are a few people I have met due to the Adoption UK community who have become great friends and huge support for my family. 4. What was the hardest and the best part about your adoption journey? There isn't just one hard part. Just like anyone else's life you have ups and downs. Sometimes the downwards trajectory lasts longer than you'd like but you do come up again. We are currently going through some difficult times as a family but we are getting through and we know it doesn't last forever. There are so many best parts about our journey such as being called dad/daddy for the first time, hugs, saying I love you to each other, holidays, days out exploring, the list is endless! 5. What’s the one thing you want your child/children to know? I would want my son to know that even when he doesn't feel it himself we know that he is amazing and we will always love him unconditionally and be there for him no matter what. 6. What would you say to anyone considering adoption? If you are thinking about then go for it! Read lots of book, talk with adopters and adoptees, find the right council or voluntary for you, immerse yourself in adoption community, know that things will be tough but so very worth it.