Gay Dad Life

Bringing Up Baby

I need you to do something for me. I need you to listen (or read) something I’ve got to get of my chest. And since all my money now goes to the J.Crew baby department, you’re the closest I’ll get to a therapist. On the scale of problems, mine is minor, probably greeted with an eye-roll and soft murmurs of sarcasm. But give me a chance. We’re not all perfect. I’m a stay-at-home dad. And it’s driving me crazy. (I saw you roll your eyes!)


On an average day at the grocery store, I can see mothers battling with three or four children under the age of five. And I gasp every time. The situation is so foreign to me, they could all be wearing lederhosen and speaking Swahili and I would still have the same reaction. I have one child that needs constant attention when she’s awake. Turn your back for one minute and she’s splashing in the dog water fountain. Step into the other room for a second and she’s found a dust bunny that demands to be taste-tested. And save us all if she’s placed in a confined area and doesn’t want to be there!

My problems are not real problems. There is a simple joy in watching my (almost) nine-month old as she learns to clap, wave, and stands up on her own, hesitant, but ready, to take her first steps. I’ll be there for them. And that makes me richer than many, I know. But with the amazing also comes the mundane. The deciphering of unknown tears, the mounds of laundry, and keeping up with house cleaning while monitoring my gold-medal-winning speed crawler. I don’t know how folks manage toddlers and infants and babies, all screaming at the same time, demanding the attention of one individual.

Some days I think back to all those women’s studies classes I took in college (I am a liberated homosexual after all), and wonder if there’s an affinity for one gender to be the primary caregiver, and whether my white, male patriarchal upbringing somehow subconsciously embedded a bread-earning mentality in my head. It’s my hope, and my gin and tonic tells me, that it’s simply not the case. That I’m more enlightened than that. I have an amazing family and I’m raising an amazing child. She already hears enough “Waltons,” “Golden Girls,” and “Roseanne” to build the strong character of George Bailey and the sassy self-confidence of Elaine Stritch.

So many people have written on this site about very real, very intense situations they’ve had to face head-on. My biggest situation wakes up at 7:15 in the morning to be fed and then sleeps until around 9:30. We eat, we drive in the car, shop for bargains at our local T.J.Maxx, take numerous cat naps, and single-handedly attempt to destroy the environment with our excessive diaper usage. We’re like every other average family. We even visit the country club every now and then for a swim in the wading pool.

You know, you’re right. I guess I have it pretty good. Thanks for listening. I think you’ve actually helped. Sometimes, we all need a reminder to step back, and look at our lives from a distance. With baby already chomping on an iPad mini, it can be difficult to separate the now we are living from the journey we are traveling. And rest assured, on that journey, we’ll have plenty of filled bottles and diapers to change a nation.

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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Become a Gay Dad

Curious About Covid 19's Impact on Foster Care and Adoption?

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the adoption and foster care processes.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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Children's Books

New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Interested in Foster Care? These Amazing Dads Have Some Advice

As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

Thinking about becoming a foster parent? Check out these resources here, and visit AdoptUSKids.

Meet the Foster Dads!

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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