Gay Dad Family Stories

A Match Made in Heaven Move to Middle Earth

Alex and Chuck continue their dream as dads to welcoming, embracing, New Zealand.

In 2014, Malaysian couple Alex and Chuck cemented their lives together in Thailand with a wedding for the ages, celebrating true love and diversity in a society where same-sex unions are rare and often hidden. A year later, baby Bien came into their lives, and in 2018, they found a new home in New Zealand. It's been a whirlwind ride the past four years for Alex and Chuck, but now they're living the family life they had only dreamed of in New Zealand. Here's their story.

Despite leading almost parallel lives in Malaysia, Alex and Chuck didn't meet till 2009. They had been members of the same sports club since childhood (some 40 years back) and yet had never run into one another. Alex, who was tiring of the dating scene and was trying out a new theory that playing competitive sports with someone can quickly bring out their true personality, bumped into Chuck on the tennis courts. Their first date was a tennis match. Needless to say, Chuck passed with flying colors.

Alex (right) and Chuck's union in Chiangmai, Thailand

When the two men fell deeply in love, they soon started building a home together and also traveled the world. In 2014, they flew to Chiangmai in Thailand, along with 150 of their closest family and friends to celebrate their union. "We were truly touched as at the time the idea of celebrating same-sex unions, especially in Asian society, was almost taboo," said Alex. In a cacophony of flower petals, theatrics and declarations of love, the two were wed. A video of their union went viral!

"We were happy to see so many well wishes from people around the world," said Alex. "But when it started to draw political attention, we removed the video."

Alex and Chuck dreamed of, but never imagined they would be parents, given a climate not particularly conducive for same-sex parenting. Nevertheless, they held on to their dream, and after a long and difficult road, they finally became parents to baby Bien in 2015 (making them @ABCDaddies on Instagram). The dads recall "We just wanted to be the best parents that we could be, and give him the most beautiful childhood that he deserved".

Alex (left), Bien and Chuck, September 2015

While Alex and Chuck had enjoyed life as a couple, they now were learning to enjoy life as a family. "Like all families, we had to make sacrifices with career," said Chuck, "but feeling like the luckiest parents in the world, that was a no-brainer."

The first couple of months, as it is for most new parents, were a challenge. Alex and Chuck were both exhausted, managing the night feeds, and figuring out their new role as parents. Sleep deprived, "I recall having squabbles with Chuck about the silliest things," remembered Alex. "But after I started to embrace being a father, I would actually look forward to the next night feed, or even the next poop change."

"We found that it really takes a village to raise a child, and were so grateful to our tribe of close friends and family who helped us especially through the early days". Through this journey they found, even their relationships with their own immediate families blossomed.

Sunset in Lombok, Indonesia, October 2017

Alex & Chuck travelled extensively in the past, and as new fathers, included Bien in all their subsequent travels. While they've had to make adjustments traveling as a family, the wouldn't have it otherwise, and in fact have found that traveling as a family, has given them a new perspective of the world. "It's been exciting and exhausting, refreshing and fulfilling, all at the same time. As we journey to introduce Bien to the beautiful diversity the world has to offer, we've started seeing life and the world through his eyes again, which is incredibly refreshing," said Chuck.

Karekare, New Zealand, the family's favorite beach

Alex and Chuck's journey as dads has also deepened their relationship. They've made many major life decisions together. Their most recent one: a move to New Zealand where they plan to grow new roots. "While we were living in our little happy bubble in Malaysia, we wanted to bring Bien up in an environment which truly embraced diversity. And so, we made the painful but necessary decision to leave our careers, family and friends, to bring Bien up in the best environment we saw fit for us as a family," said Alex.

"Of course, being LOTR fans helped!" added Chuck. (The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand.)

We'll keep following the adventures of @ABCDaddies as they begin their lives as a Kiwi family.

Auckland, April 2018

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

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."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

One Dad's Plan to 'Co-Parent Like Crazy' with His Future Husband and Ex-Wife

"I see my daughter being raised in such a loving home," said Nick. "She'll understand equality and love, and I hope I will instill those qualities in her so that she spreads it to others."

When we asked 30-year-old Nick from Fort Worth, Texas, about his path to fatherhood, he told us it was a long story and to get ready. Nick became a dad through a previous straight relationship and only came out a few years ago, but a lot has happened since then.

Growing up, Nick was raised with the belief that he should, one day, become a dad and have a family. He was brought up Catholic, and was taught that his only option to have a family was with a woman.

At first, he didn't question this belief, but he distinctly remembers the first moment when he realized he was attracted to men.

"At around age 14, I remember getting in trouble in class and was sent to sit in the hallway and this guy came walking down the hallway and I thought, 'Oh, he's cute.'" After pondering that thought for a while, Nick began to look at other guys and soon realized that he was attracted to guys. "I never asked my parents, or any religious figures from church, about these thoughts that were rapidly swimming around my head—even when I was supposed to confess my sins in confession at church. I was terrified that the Father of the church would tell my parents and I'd be exiled or forced into being straight."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

Keep reading... Show less
What to Buy

Shop with a Purpose with Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find amazing gift ideas while *also* supporting LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses? Look no further than our 2019 holiday gift guide!

'Tis the season to show loved ones you care. And what better way to show you care, by also supported our LGBTQ+ community and allies whilst doing it! Shop (LGBTQ+) smart with these great suggestions below.

Keep reading... Show less
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Newly Out Gay Dad Feels 'Demoted' After Divorce

Cameron Call showed up to his first family Thanksgiving since coming out and getting a divorce — and struggles to find himself "stuck with the singles."

Cameron Call, who came out in summer 2019, has generously agreed to chronicle his coming out journey for Gays With Kids over the next several months — the highs, lows and everything in between. Read his first article here.

Denial is an interesting thing. It's easy to think you're potentially above it, avoiding it, assume it doesn't apply to you because you'd NEVER do that, or maybe you're just simply avoiding it altogether. After finally coming out, I liked to think that I was done denying anything from now on. But unfortunately that's not the case.

And this fact became very clear to me over Thanksgiving.

Keep reading... Show less

New Report Details the 'Price of Parenthood' for LGBTQ People

A new report by the Family Equality Council takes a deep dive into the current state of cost for becoming a parent as an LGBTQ person

Parenthood is expensive. But parenthood while queer is still prohibitively costly for so many segments of the LGBTQ community interested in pursuing a family, according to a new repot by the Family Equality Council, titled, "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood."

Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • 29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Regardless of annual household income, 45-53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. Those making less than $25,000 a year are considering becoming parents at very similar rates as those making over $100,000.
  • Data from the Family Building Survey reveals that LGBTQ+ households making over $100,000 annually are considering the full range of paths to parenthood, from surrogacy and private adoption to foster care and IVF. The most popular options under consideration in this income bracket are private adoption (74% are considering), foster care (42%), and IVF or reciprocal IVF (21%). At the other end of the economic spectrum, for LGBTQ+ individuals in households making less than $25,000 annually, the most commonly considered paths to parenthood are intercourse (35% are considering), foster care (30%), and adoption (23%).

What to Buy

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.

To help us reach that day, we need to keep supporting our community and allies who write these stories. So here's a list of some of the great books that need to be in your library, and gifts to the other kids in your lives.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse