Become a Gay Dad

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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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Surrogacy in the U.S. for International Dads

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy breaks down the process of surrogacy for gay men outside of the United States

Written by Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, who has been helping international gay men become dads for over two decades.

Becoming a gay dad through a surrogacy agency in the U.S. – when you live outside of the United States – can feel overwhelming. You may have questions such as: Why should I come all the way to the US for surrogacy? What do I need to know as an international intended parent? How do I get my baby home?

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Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."

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A Gift Guide for LGBTQ Inclusive Children's Books

Need some ideas for good LGBTQ-inclusive children's books? Look no further than our gift guide!

Every year we see more books released that feature our families, and we're here for it! We're especially excited for the day when diverse and LGBTQ+ inclusive books are less of "the odd one out" and rather considered part of every kids' everyday literacy.

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These Gay Dads Lost Everything After Hurricane Dorian — Except Hope

The couple, who live in "Hope Town" in the Bahamas, lost everything after suffering a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian this past summer.

Max Bethel-Jones, 52, had traveled to more than 120 countries over the last 30 years working with the United Nations, but had never been to the Bahamas — in 2015, he decided to apply for a private teaching job as a special needs teacher in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama.

Just weeks after his arrival, he'd get a whole lot more than another pin in his map of visited countries when he attended a social event at Freeport Rugby. "My object was to ogle the local male talent but several women had other ideas," he said. One woman was particularly insistent, he said, but after a couple of drinks she got the hint that he batted for the other rugby team. "She promptly told me there was someone I should meet."

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Gay Dads Told One Must Identify as 'Mother' to Enroll in Daycare

The Israeli gay dads told one must identify as mother — like a "normal couple" — in order to receive financial assistance for daycare.

Israeli dads Guy Sadak Shoham and Chai Aviv Shoham were trying to enroll their two-year-old twins in daycare when they were told by a government official that one would need to identify as the "mother" in order to be cleared.

According to Out Magazine, the couple was attempting to apply for financial aid to help pay for the costs of preschool when a government bureaucrat called them to discuss their eligibility.

"I understand that you are both fathers and understand that you both run a shared household, but there is always the one who is more dominant, who is more the mother," the government said, according to an interview on the Israel site Ynet (translated by Out Magazine). "I am just asking for a written statement in your hand which of you is the mother. From the point of view of the work, which works less than the father. Like a normal couple."

The official, apparently, said she was beholden to rules set for in the Ministry of Economy.

"It is mostly sad and a little disturbing," one of the dads told Ynet. "These are concepts that we consider the past. We do not necessarily come up with allegations against this representative, she is ultimately subject to the guidelines and as she said, they are the state. It is also sad that the state's definition of a mother is someone who works less and is at home with the children, and that we must choose which of us meets that definition."

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, fortunately, issued an apology following the incident, and promised to update its protocols. "We will emphasize that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs practices explicitly treat all types of families and grant equal rights to all," the ministry wrote in a statement, an apology that was called "insufficient" by Ohad Hizki, the director-general of the National LGBT Task Force.

"The Ministry of Labor and Welfare must sharpen its procedures immediately to prevent recurrence of cases of this kind, as other public organizations have been able to do," he said.

Read more about this story on Out Magazine.

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