Foster/Foster-Adopt

Afraid of Adopting from Foster Care? These Dads Say Don't Be

William and Bland Lee live in Louisville, Kentucky with their 2-year-old son, Austin. The couple met on an online dating site, and have been together for 16 years. They were married on June 30th, 2015. We caught up with the family to see how they're doing.


Tell us about your path to parenthood. Did you consider other options? We consulted with an adoption attorney to discuss the various options and the pros and cons of all facets. Once we came to realize that there were already children waiting in the foster system for a family, the choice was clear. Our child or children was potentially waiting for us already and so the long tedious journey began.


What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? Navigating the foster and the judicial system, especially in Kentucky, is extremely difficult and at times defeating. Many unnecessary roadblocks presented themselves into our sons case, causing delays and retrials time and time again.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering foster-to-adopt? At the end of the day, we would chose no other route than the one that we did. Fostering to adopt made sense for us and also for our child. So often people comment that it is too hard a path, but these children deserve everything. We are trying my hardest to find ways to advocate for foster-to-adopt. Quite honestly, had we understood 10 years ago how easy an option this was to create our family, we would have been parents long ago. We are making it our personal mission to spread the information and tools with other gay families.

How has your life changed since you became a father? We truly love to travel and we did a ton of it before we decided to have children. Entering the foster care system we were unable to travel internationally for a couple of years until our son's adoption was finalized. We are looking forward to getting back to traveling and sharing that experience with him.

Was there ever a moment that you or Bland experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? We spent 14 years together shoving the desire to have children into the background. We had a niece that was born and when we held her we knew instantly that it was what we were meant to do. We were meant to be parents and we had to stop putting it off just because we were uneducated about our options.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? We are noticed and remembered more often than the "traditional" family in Louisville, KY. We just try to remind ourselves often that we can handle some stares and some strange questions if it means that we are going ahead of someone who may not have to do the same. It is all about educating people that our family is just like theirs, and trying to make it through day to day life. Then you get the occasional stare from a young gay person admiring your family and seeing an option for themselves and it makes it all worth it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? Becoming parents, it turns out, was our life's calling. We have been so fulfilled by the experience. From the moment that our baby boy was dropped at our door our lives improved in an unimaginable way. We had no idea that we were missing out on this incredible gift of being someone's father.

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Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

After Meeting in Culinary School, These Gay Dads Are Creating a Wonderful Life Together, Using Simple Ingredients

Jason and Patrick live in Charlottesville, Virginia with their daughters, and run a successful French-inspired bakery.

These gay dads own a successful French-inspired bakery and restaurant located in historic Charlottesville, Virginia. Chef Jason Becton, 41, lives in Charlottesville (where Thomas Jefferson's home Monticello is situated) with his baker husband Patrick Evans, 36, and their two daughters, Marian and Betty; they together are the owners of MarieBette, a popular bakery-restaurant in downtown Charlottesville that specializes in European foods, especially in delicious pastries from France. "Our business has become a gathering place for Charlottesvillians and we feel very welcomed here," shared Patrick. "The majority of people know that it is a business owned by two men married to each other with two kids."

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Foster/Foster-Adopt

5 Tips For Winning at Fatherhood From a Gay Foster Dad

Taylor McGregor, a gay dad through the foster care system, provides 5 tips for other gay men considering becoming a dad through foster care.

Adopted himself, Taylor McGregor, who who recently featured in a family profile, always knew he wanted to become a dad through the foster care system. And since becoming dads, they've learned some insightful (and practical) advice they'd like to share with all future dads:

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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.

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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

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