Become a Gay Dad

The Cost of Becoming a Gay Dad: The Ultimate Guide

For gay men hoping to become fathers, the bills start mounting before a dime goes to diapers or day care. Here are the costs associated with becoming a dad through adoption, foster care, and surrogacy.

Got a spare $233,610 lying around? That's more or less what the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates as the average cost to raise a child to the age of 17. But if you are a gay, bi, or trans man who doesn't have traditional, inexpensive baby-making options at their disposal, the bill will be even higher. So how, in the vast and confusing world of adoption, surrogacy, foster care and parenting partnerships, do you navigate the less talked about but very real costs of becoming a queer father?

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Gay Adoption

How Much Does Adoption Cost Gay Dads?

Gays With Kids answers financial questions for gay dads and dads-to-be: How much does an adoption cost?

In the United States, there are two most common types of adoption: independent or private adoption, and agency adoption. Both come with different price tags.

Independent or private adoption is when the birth parents place the child directly with the adoptive parent or parents without an agency or intermediary. Parents who pursue independent adoption must still enlist the help of adoption lawyers and other professionals to help with the process. Three states do not allow independent adoption - Colorado, Connecticut and Delaware.

An agency adoption is more or less what it sounds like: you will select and work with a state-certified adoption agency throughout your entire adoption journey. It is legal in all 50 states.

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Helping Gay Men Afford Adoption Through Sizable Grants

Helpuadopt.org is putting adoption within reach for our families!

Eight years ago, Jay Faigenbaum messaged Adam Jacobs on the dating site Match.com. Adam had let his membership lapse, however, so wasn't able to read the email. “I'd kind of given up on dating at that point," Adam admitted. Still, he was intrigued by Jay's mystery message.

“I called customer service and said, 'Dr. Phil promised me six months free if I didn't find love on your site,'" Adam laughed, referencing a commercial from the time featuring the self-help guru. Sure enough, the company offered Adam six months for free. But as it would turn out, one extra day was all he needed.

“Jay's email was the last I ever read," he said.

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Gay Adoption

All Children – All Families

An HRC program helping agencies do their best to welcome prospective parents, including gay dads and dads-to-be, into the foster and adoption processes.

The year was 2007 and there was a great divide.

There were scores of agencies trying to find foster and permanent families for children who desperately needed them. There also were many motivated adults, members of the LGBT community, who viewed adoption as their path to parenthood.

But, says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, “Many of them didn't feel welcome or included."

And so countless potential families were kept apart.

“We wanted to figure out what would fill that gap," she explains.

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It isn’t all cooing and cuddles and cookies – not by a long shot – but these stay-at-home dads wouldn’t trade their jobs for anything.

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For the many gay dads who began their journeys into parenthood “the old-fashioned way,” the road to acceptance — by their exes, their children, even themselves — can be bumpy. On the 26th anniversary of National Coming Out Day we bring you three fathers whose stories reinforce the idea that while neither breakups nor parenting are easy, few things worth doing are.

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The day that Steve Greenberg and Steven Goldstein officially decided to pursue parenthood, they emerged from their one bedroom on New York City’s Upper West Side to find a discarded, but incredibly beautiful, antique cradle on the sidewalk outside their building. Happenstance?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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