Gay Dad Life

Adoption of a Newborn: Gay Dads Brett and Jimmy

This is the second article in our series to help prepare gay dads-to-be for their first few weeks of fatherhood with a newborn. Our first story featured a family created through surrogacy.


Brett and Jimmy created their family through adoption and they flew from New York state to Ohio for their son Taylor's birth on July 21. The baby was discharged two days later, and, like many dads adopting across state lines, the new family checked into a nearby hotel.

They planned to stay just a few days while waiting for the required adoption paperwork to be completed. But those days morphed into weeks. Three weeks to be exact, as that's how long it took to locate Taylor's birthmother's  ex, who was legally required to sign off on the adoption.

Not to be deterred by the unexpected delay, the new dads improvised, using their studio hotel room as a temporary home complete with makeshift nursery for Taylor. They set-up a changing station, bottle station and even a swing and play area.

Surprisingly, Brett and Jimmy found that the days passed very quickly! They quickly developed a routine that included feedings, bath time, local walks and video calls with family. They also want to acknowledge the great support they received from the hotel staff.

They point out that their greatest challenge during these weeks had to do with their own dinners. Turns out that most of the convenient options close to the hotel were unappealing fast-food restaurants. Their visiting family helped out, though, by bringing home-cooked meals that they were able to heat up in their hotel room.

While they had adapted to their temporary environment, they were thrilled to receive full clearance from the ICPC (a statutory agreement governing the rules of interstate adoptions) on August 12. They checked-out of their hotel and drove to for  week-long visit with Brett's family and old friends in Iowa. Then, on August 19, they finally arrived back in New York at the house they call home, and they were warmly greeted by Jimmy's family and the guys' two dogs.

Brett and Jimmy share that they absolutely love being new dads! We were surprised to hear them say that the lack of sleep isn't as bad as they thought it would be. (They say it's just a different kind of tired.)

Taylor is doing much better getting to sleep now thanks to their regular routine that includes reading him a book each night. He goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until about 1am. Then, after a bottle, he sleeps again until around 5:30am.

Brett wakes with Taylor in the morning, feeding and cleaning him before playtime. Jimmy uses this time to get ready for work, but he always finds time to spend with his son before heading off to work each day. Brett stays home with Taylor, and they spend the day going for walks in the park, visiting with family and friends or shopping. The dads also relish the incredible help they get from their family members who live close by.

Gays With Kids: What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?

Brett and Jimmy: We're most surprised by how quickly he grows!  We've always heard the expression “enjoy it while it lasts” and now we really appreciate it as we couldn't agree more. He is doing something new everyday. Each milestone is amazing, like the first time he smiled at us, or giggled, or rolled over to his side. Every new first is one of the happiest moments of our lives.

Gays With Kids: Anything that hasn't surprised you about fatherhood?

Brett and Jimmy: We aren't surprised how many diapers and formula we go through!

Gays With Kids: What have been some of your most precious moments as dads?

Jimmy: I would say the most precious moment was being in the hospital room with Taylor’s birth mother, waiting for Taylor to be rolled into the room, and then seeing him for the first time.

Brett: The first time he smiled!

Gays With Kids: As dads to a newborn, is there anything you could not live without?

Brett and Jimmy: Coffee!

 

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Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, dammit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Gay Dads Forced to Flee Russia Find Refuge in Seattle

After fleeing Moscow last spring, this family of four has started new lives for themselves in Seattle.

For almost ten years, Andrei Yaganov, 45, and his husband Evgeny Erofeev, 32, managed to live a fairly ordinary life in Moscow, Russia. The two men both held down respectable office jobs. And their two sons — Denis and Yuri, now 14 and 12 respectively — went to daycare and school without issue. Despite being headed by a same-sex couple in a country with notoriously aggressive laws and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, the foursome went about their lives just like any other family.

Adoption by LGBTQ couples, like same-sex marriage, is illegal in Russia. But the couple managed to circumvent the ban by having Andrei adopt as a single parent. Andrei became only the third single man in Moscow, he was told during his placement process, to do so.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

'A Gay Man's Wife': One Couple's Co-Parenting Journey

The podcast 'A Gay Man's Wife,' explores how one woman makes her marriage to a gay man work for her — and their family.

Guest post written by Michael and Tawyne, hosts of A Gay Man's Wife

Michael: Growing up, I always knew I was different. I knew that what my family perceived as normal wasn't who I was. Only when I hit a certain maturity in my teenage years did I understand that I was gay. Still, I didn't know what that meant for me at the time. When I was 16 I met Tawyne (15) and immediately felt something that I didn't quite understand. She was wild like a tornado and captivated me. Throughout the first year of our friendship we fell in love.

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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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