Whether to have children or not was never a question for Scott and Josh Tayloe. The only question was a matter of when.
“When” came as they both turned thirty while living in Jacksonville, Florida and planning their wedding on Cape Cod. “Something just clicked and we knew we were ready to slow down and start the adoption process,” Scott says.
The Tayloes were well aware that the process would be lengthy and would take time. But there was more to it than that. To make an already complicated process even more complicated, Scott and Josh were not legally able to adopt in the state of Florida. Furthermore, many adoption agencies, schools and doctors were not supportive of their decision to become parents. Scott and Josh weren’t even recognized as a couple which made being recognized as parents all the more challenging.
On a trip to Massachusetts to scout out a wedding venue, Josh and Scott happened upon a beach wedding. Nearby, a family was watching – a mom, a dad and their two young daughters. Wanting to see her dress, the little girls asked where the bride was. Scott and Josh overheard the parents say that there might not be a bride and that two men can marry one another just like two women can marry or a man and a woman can marry. A moment later two grooms walked down the aisle. It was a defining moment for Josh and Scott who both knew right then they would not only marry in Massachusetts but that it would also become the setting for their adoption and where they would start their own family. They were wed in July 2011. Soon after they relocated and started the arduous adoption process in October 2011.
The Tayloes were finally officially put on the adoption list in January 2013. A month later, they were selected. Right away, they met the birth mom, got to know her and patiently awaited for the arrival of their little boy in April. However, it wasn’t meant to be. The adoption fell through at the last minute when the birth mother decided to keep the baby. Heartbroken and devastated, the Tayloes closed the door to the nursery and didn’t open it for a month. With the support of friends and family, they weathered the difficult time. “We have incredible friends a few of which showed up off a red-eye flight at our door the next morning. They brought drinks, food and games and did their best to distract us from the absence of what was to be the weekend we would have brought home our baby boy.” Scott says.
Less than two months later, they got the call again, this time from a woman in Ohio who said she wanted to help a family who couldn’t have kids. The Tayloes drove to Cleveland, met the new birth mom to be as well as her six kids. They even went to an ultra-sound appointment with her. It was there they saw their baby boy for the first time. “We knew that was Hayden.” Scott says.
Over the next three months (June-August) Scott and Josh went back and forth to Cleveland to join her for appointments and get to know her family. Her kids wanted to know where their brother would be going to live and knowing how open her family was, Josh and Scott felt very at peace with the entire process.
On August 9, 2013 the birth mother from Ohio went into labor. The adoption agency had prepared Scott and Josh that hospitals in the South and Midwest might not be supportive of a gay couple adopting. But when the Tayloes ran through those hospital doors at 4am when all the nurses immediately said “Are you the dads?” the Tayloes’ nerves were quelled. They were ushered into the delivery room where Josh and Scott cut Hayden’s cord. After cleaning him up, the nurses asked the birth mom if she wanted to hold the baby. She surprised the Tayloes by saying, “I think his parents should get to hold him first.”
“It was the most surreal, incredible moment of our lives.” Scott says.
Through the difficulties the Tayloes have endured as a gay couple wanting to adopt, they discovered what little is actually out there as far as resources are concerned. There was no centralized place where one can find out LGBT-friendly hospitals, schools or other service providers and professionals. Because of this experience, Scott recognized that his own family’s needs were not isolated.
And so, fourteen months later, Hayden’s List is born.
“Hayden is our world. And we want him to grow up in a better world than the one we grew up in. We want him to live his dreams and be proud to have us as his parents. We love him more than words can say, and we can’t wait to see him grow into a respectful, successful and wonderful man.”
, birth mom
, Gay Marriage