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#DearFutureDads: Advice From New Gay Dads

Dove Men+Care recently shared their "New Dad Care Package" with a few new gay dad families, demonstrating their commitment to dads from the very start of the fatherhood journey

As any dad knows, the first few weeks of fatherhood are a blur. Our lives are turned upside down as we settle into new routines that revolve around our new child. No more visits to the gym, nights out with friends, or shopping for anything other than the most basic of needs. That's why we're grateful that Dove Men+Care recently shared their "New Dad Care Package" with a few new gay dad families, demonstrating their commitment to dads from the very start of the fatherhood journey. Complete with a few Dove Men+Care and Baby Dove products and available in hospitals across the U.S., the program equips dads with the basic personal care tools needed to care of themselves and their new families during this busy and exciting time.

We're also grateful to the new dads below, each of whom shares advice with expectant dads on what to expect during the early days of fatherhood.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

6 Tips for a Fun, Family-Friendly and Fabulous Pride Experience!

A gay dad shares some of his newfound appreciation for gay pride after attending his first ever pride event

A couple of weeks ago I did something that I never thought I'd do.

I watched “Fox & Friends."

Come on, you know me better than that.

I attended my very first Pride event.

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Here's a shocker: it turns out us gay dudes don't know diddly about the female reproductive system. That will change pretty rapidly, though, if you step foot inside the offices of CT Fertility.

"Gay male couples tend to have no clue about pregnancy when they first walk in," laughed Medical Director at CT Fertility, Dr. Melvin H. Thornton II. "I'm sometimes accused of giving out too much information, but I'd rather give too much than too little."

The bulk of his patients are gay, which means Dr. Thornton, who has over 22 years of experience in the fertility world, has become something of a part-time professor in addition to a medical professional as he shepherds gay men and couples through the process of creating embryos.

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Two Broadway Husbands Begin Their Journey to Becoming Broadway Dads

Meet Bret and Stephen of @BroadwayHusbands. Follow along as they vlog about their journey to becoming dads through IVF and surrogacy.

Bret, a New York actor, and Stephen, a Broadway dancer, make up the dynamic duo behind @BroadwayHusbands. The two, who are no strangers to the theater, didn't know they had acting in common when they met in 2006. Their happily ever after began when they married in April 2011, and today they start the next phase of their relationship – becoming dads! Gays With Kids is extremely excited to have front row seats, as this theater duo vlog about the highs, lows, complications and revelations of their surrogacy journey.

Watch their first video to learn about their hopes and their worries, gain insight on their mindset about starting a family, and the factors that helped them choose surrogacy and, ultimately, their fertility clinic.

If reading is more your speed, you can find a transcription below.

Bret: We are in the beginning stages of our surrogacy process. So we're learning a lot of the terms right now. We're at the beginning of our "journey" right now. And just so you know we're on vacation right now at Walt Disneyworld, so that's why you see Sebastian and Flounder behind us. Basically we want to have a baby so we can take him or her to Disneyworld!

Stephen: We're babysitting right now! That's why we're being quiet.

B: So we have been married for 7 years, and together for 11 years. I've been living in NY for 20 years, I'm an actor and singer, and have been in multiple Broadway shows

S: And I'm originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I moved to New York when in 7th grade, and I became a professional ballet dancer with New York City Ballet. And some other dancing and acting things, and I still continue to do that

B: I have a brother who's autistic, on the spectrum, and it's a genetic thing that has been passed down in the family. So knowing how difficult that was growing up with a special needs brother, we wanted to reduce the risk of that happening as much as we can. With biological surrogacy you can reduce the risk, but not eliminate it

S: Another reason we went down this route, is that my dad is an only child, and it's just my brother and myself. So it's just the 2 of us, and he and his wife aren't planning to have any babies, and I thought if I could do something about that, then I would!

B: So we went to the LGBT Center on 13th street, they do these monthly informational things just like general information for LGBTQ parenting - on adopting or the surrogacy route. I have 3 brothers – the autistic one is the oldest, and then two other brothers. Each has been married, each with multiple kids. My coming out story is that it was not easy. I grew up in Southeast Texas, and it's taken a lot of time for my family to grow to accept me, but for most of my adult life they've been very open and very accepting. What I realized that's different about the baby thing is, I don't think they realize how difficult it is for two men to have a baby. Like it makes sense to me, but for them because they can just get pregnant they don't even think about it!

S: Well we keep trying!

B: Also, I think a lot of people have an idea what our lifestyle is as Broadway performers, and they think it's so vastly different from what other people do, and it's not! It's just not always steady.

So we found out through another couple that they had gone through this organization called Men Having Babies, so we applied, and qualified for GPAP Stage 1 financial assistance. (GPAP is the Gay Parenting Assistance Program created by Men Having Babies to offer financial aid to couples who qualify). So Stage 1 is basically the most minimal level in terms of a financial discount on services and we went "Oh wait this might actually be an option, we might be able to do this". Because when we found out how much it was originally we said, "We don't have that kind of money!"

So I went to a Men Having Babies event that Stephen couldn't go to -and it was on the Upper West Side and everyone (at least from my eyes because I'm comparing myself) are like bankers and lawyers and, "We live on the Upper West Side and we gave up our share on Fire Island so we could have a baby" and I'm like "That is not my life, and I don't know how we're going to do this, but we're going to figure it out." We're just going to take it one step at a time. So like I said I went to the Men Having Babies event and I met with a doctor at RMA of Connecticut – Dr. Leondires. Without Stephen, again…

S: I was working, to try to get the money to…get this going!

B: We had a meeting, and I just felt like I was in good hands. He just explained everything to me and made it seem like it was actually manageable. And I realized that we could do this in stages – the first step is you come in, you do this whole day of bloodwork, you do all these things, and we'll freeze our sperm. Get through that first. And then we'll find an egg donor and then we'll make the embryos… and Dr. Leondires said you can do it in stages so it's not all at once.

We were asked by Gays with Kids if we would document our journey as we go, so this is the first video as we do that. We're hoping you guys will be joining us as we go on our journey and have a baby. Right now we're using credit cards to pay for this process, but we have some jobs coming up that will help us budget and pay for it.

Something that makes me feel like I want to get this going is because I just turned 39 this past week and I don't want to be too old by the time my kid is in high school.

We're going to be in Charleston NC for the next year to see if this is someplace we could settle down.

S: I'm nervous about being a gay parent anywhere, to be honest. I think that that's inherently because being gay, I've grown up a little nervous to be in new settings or new situations in general.

B: But I'm excited. What I love about being with kids is their imaginations, to play along with their imaginations! I'm excited for Easter and Christmas and for our nephew to have a cousin.

S: I'm excited to extend our family! What we have and to pass it down in every way that we can, and I think that being on this journey allows us to do that.

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Seven Questions for Author Frank Lowe

Frank Lowe, author of “Raised by Unicorns –– Stories From People With LGBTQ+ Parents," answers some of our questions

This week Frank Lowe, known to Gays With Kids readers for his witty and touching stories about fatherhood, and throughout the Twitterverse as Gay-At-Home Dad, published a book called “Raised by Unicorns – Stories From People with LGBTQ+ Parents." We had some questions for him.

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Gay Dad Life

Post Father's Day, One Gay Dad is Sick of All the Celebrating

One gay dad asks: are parents so insecure that they devised a holiday for their children to honor and celebrate them?

Do we really need a holiday to celebrate parents, especially one that is divided along gender lines? Mother's Day and Father's Day surely were not invented by children. Are parents so insecure that they devised a holiday for their children to honor and celebrate them? Is there something so different between a mother and father that they each need their own day? Aren't we beyond this?

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

One Single Gay Dad's Reflections on Father's Day

Father's Day can be a tough for single gay dads. Salim's answer to any patches of loneliness? Remembering his role as father.

When I began writing this piece about Father's Day, I had a think about what my experience as a dad had involved up until now. There's all the usual stuff – love, happiness, purpose in life, all of which is a given. But there's one subject people always ask me about in regards to being a father - MEN.

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22 Pics of Gay Men Before and After They Became Adoptive Dads

Photos of Gay Men Before and After They Created Their Families Through Adoption

As gay dads, we all have our stories about how we became parents, whether it was through adoption, foster-care, surrogacy, or straight relationships (to name a few more common paths). But sometimes it's worth taking a look back at our before-kids photos, just to then look at our family photos again, and be extra thankful this Fathers' Day.

Here's a walk down memory lane for some of the dads in our community: the before and after photos.

Happy Fathers' Day, dads!

Dads Chris and Troy with their daughter Olivia

Chris and Troy's adoption profile went live on June 25, 2015. They waited nine months before they were matched, and on March 17, 2016, they spoke with Olivia's incredibly strong birth mother. They spent the next three months getting to know her and her family through visits, calls and letters.

On July 4, 2016, their baby girl was born and Chad and Troy became dads to their "smart, independent and beautiful daughter."

“We are the luckiest. So much love."

Family photo: June 2017

Next Page

In March this year, Antwon and Nate shared their exciting news with the Gays With Kids community: they were going to become foster dads! In May they caught us up to speed on their licensing, how they were getting prepared and what were their next steps. Now, several months later, they're still waiting ...In this video, Antwon and Nate give us an update.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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