Gay Dad Family Stories

Adoption for These Dads Was Like a "Rollercoaster" But Well Worth the Ride

After multiple scam attempts, bizarre leads, and a birth mom's change of heart, Jason and Alex finally became dads.

Photo credit: Dale Stine

Every gay man who pursues fatherhood fights for their right to become a dad. They've had to keep going even when at times it's seemed hopeless. Jason Hunt-Suarez and Alex Suarez's story is no different. They had their hearts set on adoption; overcame multiple scams, some very bizarre leads, a birth mother's change of heart at the 11th hour, their adoption agency going bankrupt, and tens of thousands of dollars lost along the way. But after a long, turbulent, and heart-wrenching three-year-long journey, it was all worth it.


Jason (left) and Alex

Together 10 years, married for four, Jason and Alex live in Miami, Florida. Jason is in retail management and Alex is a middle school teacher. Although there was a time when they flirted with the idea of becoming dads through surrogacy, after attending an adoption seminar they knew that they wanted to adopt. But making that decision was the easiest part of their journey.

After becoming licensed adoptive parents in 2014, Jason and Alex were placed into a waiting pool with other parents-to-be, and signed with the adoption agency IAC. In 2015, an "emotional scammer" sent them messages via an online site to match potential adoptive parents with their birth mothers. "It was mostly talking through email and text, then some calls for a few weeks," explained Jason. "She sent us doctor's notes and sonograms of her 'pregnancy.'" It was on one of these sonograms that the dads noticed an irregularity: it was dated 2012. "We confronted her about it and she accused us of being heartless towards her." The dads were forced to block her and hit restart on their path.

They encountered something very similar in June 2016. The connection lasted a month, before the birth mom disappeared. That year they also received other very strange calls: one from a woman who wanted to create a child the "old fashioned way." The dads-to-be were quick to block the connection.

In October of that year, the dads were successfully matched with an expectant birth mom. They were ecstatic!

But then, on January 31st, 2017, Alex and Jason, along with so many other folks waiting to adopt, heard news indirectly that their agency was filing for bankruptcy. At first they were shocked and convinced that they'd misunderstood the news shared by a friend who they'd met during their adoption process. But then they received confirmation from their counselor. "We were shocked and scared because at that point we were matched with an expectant birth mom and were now in limbo," said Alex.

On the advice of others, they contacted an adoption attorney in Miami, who had come highly recommended. "The thought of losing almost $30,000 to the agency and now having to come up with another $10,000 to finish the adoption was numbing but we had to do what we needed to in order to make it all work out," said Jason. "It wasn't until later that the anger kicked in, but what kept us moving was our birth mother at the time, and that we were in a better place than hundreds of others."

The day before the excited dads-to-be were going to travel to where their birth mom was giving birth, they received a devastating call at 3 in the morning: their birth mom was incredibly sorry, but she had decided to keep the baby.

"That was worse than the agency going bankrupt because at that point we were lost," said Jason. "We understood her decision and always knew that was a risk but it made Alex want to stop the whole process."

But Jason wasn't ready to give up. He dug into his retirement fund and savings, and came up with an additional $20,000 to start the adoption process from scratch with their new attorney. Three weeks later, they received a call that would change their story forever.

Jason and Alex's new birth mother was in Arizona and due in July. Although the husbands were wary of the additional travel due to the added expense, they jumped at the opportunity. They decided to keep it a secret until the day the birth mother signed the relinquishment papers.

Jason and Alex reached out to a lesbian couple, Holly and Dawn, whom they had met through IAC and knew lived in Arizona. Holly and Dawn had been successfully matched a year earlier. For the month that Jason and Alex were in Phoenix, the wives went out of their way to make the new dads feel welcome and at home. "They helped us find an Airbnb on the block where they lived, they gave us their pack and play, invited us to their home for dinner, and even threw us an adoption celebration party!" said Jason. This fellow adoptive parent friendship meant so much to Jason and Alex, something they'll be forever grateful for, and they've vowed to do the same for other adoptive families back in Miami.

On July 16, 2017, their son Aiden was born. Aiden's birth mother decided to have a closed adoption with the option for her to make it open at her discretion. (Although there has been no contact as of yet, the dads are still hopeful that one day Aiden will have a relationship with his birth family.)

When Jason and Alex returned to Miami, they came home as a family of three.

The weekends have changed considerably for the husbands as their first priority is now Aiden and doing family orientated activities. "I never knew I could have this different kind of love," said Jason. "My heart is so full."

Although the journey was emotionally and financially draining, the dads are so happy they kept going. "Don't give up," said Alex. "If your heart is telling you to go for it, then go for it."

"Be financially ready and emotionally ready for a roller coaster ride," added Jason. "It was so tough wondering if and when it would happen but let me tell you, when I look at him, I can say it's all worth it and all the pain goes away."

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple is Using 'Wheel of Fortune' Winnings to Help Fund Their Adoption

Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

"Daddy, Which Belly Did I Come From?"

How do gay dads talk to their kids about the women that helped bring them into the world?

When you tell your kids the story of how they came to be, is the woman who delivered them identified by a face and a name? That's a decision that every gay dad has to make when it comes to having kids through surrogacy or adoption. In this episode we explored two ways of keeping in touch with the birthmother (for adoptive kids) or the gestational surrogate (for IVF and surrogacy) as part of gay dads' children's birth story.Some adoptive parents choose to have an 'open adoption,' where the child gets to meet the birthmother. Parents who go through surrogacy sometimes keep in touch with the surrogate and have their kids meet her when they are old enough.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

Keep reading... Show less
Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse