Gay Dad Life

These Gays Dads Were Mid-Surrogacy Journey in Thailand When the Laws Suddenly Changed

Chris and Charles navigated the often choppy waters of international surrogacy to create their family -- and hope to do it again.

Chris had always admired Charles, who was the older brother of good friend, but only from afar. He was handsome, sophisticated, mature, and unbeknownst to Chris, gay, but still in the closet.

"He used to pick his sister up from my apartment sometimes, turning up in a suit and his flashy car," remembers Chris. "Always looking very dapper."


But it wasn't till Chris' 21st birthday when he found out that Charles, 7 years his elder, had just come out. After that, they began running into each other at clubs, and it wasn't long before they began to date.


The Australian couple were married in Hawaii in 2012. Three years later, Charles and Chris became dads to twins, Trinity and Dash, via surrogacy. The family lives together in Sydney. Recently, the dads have been thinking about growing their family again. We spoke with Chris to find out about their first journey to fatherhood, and what they learned along the way.

Tell us about your path to fatherhood. We attended a few seminars on surrogacy here in Australia and once we had selected our egg donor we knew it was the only course of us.

Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. We have had a long journey to fatherhood. We had failed attempts in India before our children were born in Thailand. (They were born just as the laws changed which made the exit process crazy!) Since then, we've tried two different countries and had a few attempts for baby number three. We will keep trying as we'd love a big family. It is what we both want as we were both raised in large families.

How has your life changed since you became a father? The best way to sum up how my life has changed would be when my mates who do not have children tell me they are "busy," it's cute. I remember when I used to think I was "busy" as well. Your life changes in every inconceivable way, but now, if I am out with friends, I want to be at home by 12:00pm or 1:00am in the weekends because I want to hang with my kids in the morning. There is no greater joy than playing superheroes with my kids!

The other biggest change to my life has been on my marriage. We are now individuals, partners, but also parents and people responsible for two little humans. As husbands, we've had to work on ensuring that we are not just co-parents, but that we are a team and still make time for each other.


Chris (left) and Charles with their two children

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? I have learnt purpose. I never knew what I was missing until I had children. Now I have a single-minded purpose to create the best life for my family.

Was there ever a moment that you or Charles experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself. We have tried many different countries; had many failed attempts and miscarriages. They hurt, they are hard and it puts strain on all areas of your life. However, we have always had a view that in 20 years, we'd have no regrets, so we have never given up. We have two beautiful children through surrogacy and will continue to try for more.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? When we first brought our kids home, there wasn't too much difference and I took my husband's last name for family continuity. Now that we have had the YES vote and have attained marriage equality, I do not feel that there is any difference.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Decide on what you want, make it a vision, make it a plan. There will be tough times, hard times and you may second guess yourself. But when that little person looks into your eyes and a love that you never knew your heart could feel blooms, then it will be worth every sleepless night, dollar spent and stressed phone call to Mum.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? We will have one more child if I have my way or twins again if my husband manifests that outcome!



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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."

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Change the World

A Gay Fertility Doctor Opens Up About His Own Path to Parenthood

Parenthood is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, wrote gay fertility doctor Mark Leondires in a recent op-ed for The Advocate

Dr. Mark Leondires, founder of the fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, has helped thousands of LGBTQ people become parents over the years. But in a recent op-ed for The Advocate, he discussed his own path to parenthood as a gay man, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

"Similar to most gay men I struggled with the coming out process," Dr. Leondires wrote. "I strongly desired to be a parent. And as a fertility doctor I knew this was possible. What was enlightening was after we had our first child is that in the eyes of my community, I went from being a gay man or gay professional to being a parent just like most of my straight friends."

Dr. Leondires goes on to say his reasons for opening up about his parenting journey is to offer some perspective LGBTQ people who are considering parenthood. "Once you have a family you will have this common bond with the vast majority of our population and something they can relate to — having children," he wrote. "You are no longer someone living this "special" lifestyle, you are a parent on a shared journey."

Being a parent is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, he continued. "It is also the only job you can't be fired from."

Understanding this commonality helped Dr. Leondires in his coming out process, he said. "I had to be proud of my family because I want them to be proud of our family," he wrote. "It wasn't about me anymore. The reality is that 5-7% of patients identify as LGBTQ+, and there may be a greater likelihood that your child might be LGBTQ+ because you are. Therefore, you need to be proud of who you are and who your family is, establish and maintain this foundation unconditionally."

Read Dr. Leondires entire essay here.

Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Single Gay Dad and the City

When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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