Gay Dad Life

"This Is Home": Congrats to Gay Men Celebrating Births and Adoptions in April!

Help us congratulate all of the gay, bi and trans men who are celebrating births and adoption in the month of April!

Every month we feel honored to be able to share the awesome news of our families celebrating incredible milestones, such as adoption finalizations and welcoming their newest members. Congratulations to all these beautiful families featured this month!

Circle Surrogacy is the proud sponsor of April's Congrats post. They were founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. "For over 20 years we've helped LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!"


Congratulations to new dads Brian and Scott on the birth of their son Silas!

Husbands Scott and Brian welcomed their first son via surrogacy on March 17, 2019 at 5:35am.

"Witnessing the miracle of birth, with the people that have been on this journey with us was truly emotional and moving," recalled Brian. "Whenever we are asked about our first moments meeting our son we always explain it was the true meaning of love at first sight. In a relationship, you meet someone, you're physically attracted to them, enjoy the same things, laugh together, and ultimately fall in love."

"Even with small hiccups from time to time," added Scott, "the experienced coordinators and advisors have always guided us from Circle and our Fertility Clinic. We have had such a remarkable experience and grateful to hold our little boy Silas James."

We're thrilled for this new family of three, and excited to follow their fatherhood journey.

Congratulations to dads Bobby and Christopher on finalizing the adoption of their son Johan!

This Californian family of three became a forever family of three on March 22, 2019.

"Our adoption journey took about two years to complete - the original agency we signed with filed for bankruptcy, we eventually got an adoption attorney to help us out," said Bobby. "We were there for the birth of our son, Johan, in Washington state. Ten months later, we are in front of a judge to finalize our adoption and couldn't be happier!"

Congrats to this family of three!

Congratulations to dads Terrance and Chase on finalizing the adoption of their son Nylen!

Terrance and Chase began their foster journey in November 2016. They began attending Impact classes with their local state's Department of Family and Children Services. Once all was approved and home study complete, they became foster parents to two great kids along the way.

"Fostering is not for the faint of heart as we became so attached to both kids," shared Chase. "The daily grind of homework, bed-time and helping them see how much of a blessing they are to the world, is an all-in project."

The dads home became empty in March 2018 so they traveled to South Africa, and donated their time, clothes, books and toys to children and families in need. In the summer of 2018, they opened their homes again and were matched with Nylen.

"Nylen, like other children in the DFCS system, has had a troubled past due to things out of his control," said Chase. "All he needed was a true support system, love and consistency."

After attending many court dates and meetings at school to ensure their son received support and teaching to meet his needs, they began starting to see a young man flourish. "Nylen is officially student of the month (April 2019), sportsman of the week in basketball and for the first time he made honor roll! Nylen's birth mother made a tough but loving decision in that for him to thrive he was best with us. As of March 11, 2019, Nylen is home for good and not just as our adopted son but as the missing link."

Congratulations to dads Carter and Remco for welcoming their twins, Cooper and Lily!

"We are very much in love."

On March 18, their second daughter, Lily came into the world, and a minute later her brother Cooper joined her. The twins were born via surrogate in Thailand.

"Holding the twins for the first time was a moment of pure happiness," shared Carter. "Feeling great responsibility to raise these children to be kind and successful in their life. Bring it on. We can do this. We want a big family and we have three kids and a dog now. What's next? Time will tell. Till then we'll enjoy every moment with the twins and their two year old big sister (who is doing great, couldn't make us more proud)."

Lily and Cooper join big sister Ella who was adopted by the dads two years prior.

Congratulations to dads Jon and Chris on welcoming daughter Ariana!

Jon and Chris became dads to baby Ariana via surrogacy. (Here they are at her adoption court hearing 3 weeks after her birth.) They began their surrogacy process in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but recently moved to Key West, Florida right after she was born.

"We had an amazing carrier that may do a sibling project for us here shortly and carry for us again," said Jon. "We chose to not know who's DNA Ariana is and will have the fertility clinic select an embryo from the other one of us for our next one."

"The day she was born, the first emotion was just uninhibited caring and love for her," said Chris. "It's like you live your life learning to guard yourself, ask questions, scope out the situation, learn someone before loving them...but with your own daughter, the moment you see her there are no questions or learning—it's instant and it's overwhelming. She's amazing."

Congratulations to dads Ben and Ryan on welcoming son Morrissey!

Ben and Ryan, an Australian couple, became first-time dads to little Morrissey on March 8, 2019, when he was born via surrogate in Minnesota.

"Our journey lasted 3 years, all worth it," shared Ryan. "When we held our son for the first time, all of our struggles disappeared. The love we have for him is a different love. We feel complete now, as a family."

Congrats to this new family of three!

Congratulations to dads Ben and Andy on welcoming twins Kit and Wren!

On April 2, 2019, Ben and Andy became dads to twin daughters, Kit and Wren, via their amazing surrogate Amber!

"While not simple, our surrogacy journey was pretty smooth," shared Ben. "From our very first inquiry visit to our doctor to the day the girls arrived, it all took less than 18 months and we only had one failed attempt

"We know we have been very lucky and do not take that for granted," added Andy. "We've been fortunate enough to have support of friends, our church, and families throughout the journey, and we've had a very thoughtful and selfless gestational carrier. Ironically, the day the girls were born, the entire hospital was full and the birthing unit was maxed out. We had to make an impromptu room in the hospital's nursery with all the other new born babies coming and going throughout the days for their checkups. Even though we hit this minimal snag, Ben's words summed up the moment perfectly as we did skin to skin for the first time with our daughters. He looked over at me and simply said 'I wish this moment right now could be our jobs for the rest of our lives.'"

Congratulations to dads Eryc and Jeremy for finalizing their kids' adoptions! 

@instantdads

Eryc works at a group home where he met his beautiful kids-to-be! "We built a connection that coincided with them being up for adoption," he explained. "We began the process and made it happen! Longest 9 months of our lives."

Eryc and his husband Jeremy adopted four of the siblings, Kamaria, Keir, Jerrick and Keila, and their close friend adopted the two youngest siblings so they could all stay together. On March 8, 2019, they celebrated being a beautiful blended family!

"Adoption day was magical," said Jeremy. "Full of tears of joy and just a mystical moment of happiness. There is no turning back and we are so appreciative to extend our family with these beautiful souls!"

Congrats to this Fort Lauderdale family!

Congratulations to dads Chris and Kyle on welcoming twins Kavan and Willow! 

Chris and Kyle talked about having kids on their very first date so they knew it was always going to be in the cards for them. The day after they got married two years ago, they attended the Family Expo at The LGBT Center in New York where they learned about all the potential ways to become parents.

"We decided surrogacy would be the right path for us - we signed with an agency (Growing Generations) three months later and we were on our way," said Chris. "Our surrogacy journey went fairly to plan fortunately with only one or two minor bumps. We had an incredibly strong and caring woman as our surrogate and we could not have picked a better person to help us build our family."

On March 29, their twins were born.

"To say there was a lot of emotion when we held our twins for the first time would be an understatement, there was every emotion!" said Kyle. "There was a mix of excitement, relief that they were strong and healthy, fear of accidentally breaking them, and an incredible sense of love and admiration. It was hard to believe that the time had actually arrived when we were holding our children but it was a moment that we were, and still are, extremely grateful to be able to have. It'll be something that we'll never forget!"

Congrats to this Los Angeles based family!

Congratulations to dads Tomas and Daniel on finalizing the adoption of their kids! 

Tomas and Daniel always wanted a large family. "We started our journey to fatherhood eight years ago, fostering to adopt siblings Kevin and Alexis. After about a year of fostering we adopted them."

Two years later they returned to their foster agency for a second round and were placed with and eventually adopted siblings Nikko and Jonathan.

Last year they decided to return again, and adopted two siblings on April 23, 2019.

"It has had its trials and lots of testing of relationships but we have persevered keeping a happy family," shared Tomas. "On the day we finalized our kids adoption, we were thrilled. Part was the relief that there were no appeals, part that we will have no more multi county and multi agency social worker visits to schedule, no more paperwork, and the biggest most important part was that the kids know this is their forever home. This is home."

Congrats to this Californian forever family!

Circle was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. To this day, that belief is at the core of everything we do. For over 20 years we've helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!

We're an agency comprised of social workers and lawyers, accountants and outreach associates, and program managers and coordinators; but, more importantly, we're an agency made up of parents, surrogates and egg donors, who are passionate about helping people build their families, and invested in each and every journey.

Circle is proud to have helped so many gay families achieve their dreams of becoming parents. Together, we make parenthood possible.®

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Change the World

11 Family Stories That Show the Depth of the Adoption Experience for Gay Men

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! To celebrate, we've curated some adoption stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience for gay men.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! And few people are more aware of the importance of lifting up and celebrating adoption in this country than the LGBTQ community. According to the Williams Institute, 21% of same-sex couples are raising adopted children compared to just 3% of different-sex couples. Despite the fact that we are a crucial part of the support system for children needing loving homes, we are currently facing an administration that is trying to make it legal for foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against us on the basis of religion.

To help celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, and demonstrate that religious beliefs should in never trump the ability for a loving LGBTQ family to welcome children into their home, we've rounded up several family stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience — men who never planned to become dads, and woke up one day to find themselves responsible for little ones. Men who always wanted to become dads, and suffered through years of failed placements before finally making their dreams come true. Single men, who realized they were strong enough to adopt on their own. And men who adopted older children through the foster care system.

These are just a few of the inspiring stories of gay, bi and trans adoptive dads — we are literally sitting on a treasure trove of them. And, no doubt, there are countless more headed your way in the months to come.

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Popular

"We're Dads, the Greatest Thing We've Ever Been": Congrats to Gay Men Whose Families Recently Grew!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

Congratulations to dads Ryan and Sebastian on the birth of their son, Máximo!!

Ryan and Sebastian's path to fatherhood was through surrogacy and their journey took nearly five years from start to finish. "There were many ups and downs and we almost gave up — but are so glad we didn't!"

"Holding Máximo for the first time was something we will never forget," shared Ryan. "He was looking up at us and we were just overcome with love and joy."

This new family of three live in Long Island City, New York.

Congratulations to dads Andy and Mike on their birth of their son Bennett!

In July this year, Andy and Mike became first time dads through surrogacy when they welcomed their son Bennett.

"We are absolutely in love with our baby Bennett! He's doing awesome and his Daddy and Papa have been rewarded with a lot of big smiles! He sleeps a lot and is generally relaxed as he learns about the world around him. He's made us happier than we knew possible and we feel incredibly blessed that he is the culmination of our wonderful surrogacy journey."

Even though their son is only 3 months old, they're already starting to think about and plan for his sibling! Congrats dads!

Congratulations to dads Bryan and Zachary on the birth of your son Spencer!

Three years ago, husbands Bryan and Zachary moved from New York City to Dallas, Texas to start a family.

"Like for most, our journey had many uncertainties with ups and downs along the way," said Bryan. "When you stop and really think about everything that goes into the process and has to take place, it's a true miracle and we feel blessed."

On August 26 this year, their son Spencer was born through surrogacy. "Patience, hope, support and remembering what's eventually to come helped my husband and I during the most stressful times. Now that Gates is here, it's hard to even look back."

"Holding Gates for the first was a true miracle - my husband and I finally took a breath. At that moment, the three of us created our new family and everything was exactly how it was supposed to be."

Congratulations to dads John and Ryan on finalizing the adoption of their son Connor!

When John and Ryan in 2004, they both knew they wanted to be parents. They were married in 2005 and started their journey as foster parents in 2009. They first became dads when their son Cody, then an infant, came to live with them. His adoption was finalized in 2013.

"After Cody's adoption, we 'closed' our home and actually moved a few times before joining the foster parent community again in 2018. When we decided to look to foster and adopt again, Cody was fully on board and that was a big part of our discussions about timing."

Their son Conner was placed with them as an infant in May 2018. Connor's adoption was finalized on October 16, and he was 19 months old at the time.

"Adoption day was a whirlwind," shared John. "We were first on the docket for the judge and he made quick work of finalizing his placement and formally making Connor a member of the family!"

The forever family of four live in San Antonio, Texas and would love to connect with other families like theirs.

Congratulations to dads Matt and Ian on the birth of their son Rocco!

Denver couple Matt and Ian had been dreaming of the day when they'd become dads. The husbands have been together going on 8 years, married for 5, and had picked out their son's name even before they were married.

"The journey to fatherhood has been a long and emotional one," shared Matt. "After our first fertility clinic placed roadblocks in front of us for almost two years, we changed to a new once and suddenly found ourselves on a pace far quicker towards fatherhood. We engaged a surrogacy agency to find our gestational carrier after two attempts to do it ourselves, and ended up with someone who was so far and beyond what we ever could have imagined, we cannot imagine the journey without her. We call her our angel not just because of her selfless act but for her guidance along the way as a mother herself."

From their first 13 embryos, one little one tried to hang on but didn't quite make it to the end. After several years of trying up, they decided to give it one more go and were able to produce 6 eggs, one of which resulted very quickly into a multiplying, healthy and genetically viable embryo - the last of 19 attempts. "The day we found out that our little bundle of cells had matured, we unexpectedly lost my Grandfather on the same day – a stark reminder of the cycle that is life. We gave our son the middle name of Keen as it was one of my late grandfather's signature words to use. 'Oh, that's so keen...' is a phrase I can still hear him saying to me as a child."

On July 26, the dads welcomed their son Rocco! "We are blessed now with a sleeping, funny, expressive and engaged little spirit in our lives. The process was tough, emotional and downright exhausting. The moment he showed up though, let out a scream then looked at his with his funny little furled brow, every single appointment, lost night's sleep, worry and tear was collectively worth it. We are Dads … and that is simply the greatest thing we have ever been."

Congratulations to Travis and Jay on finalizing the adoption of their son Kathan!

Travis and his husband Jay began their path to fatherhood a little over three years ago when they began the certification process to adoption through the foster care system. "After a little over a year and a half in the making we got the call on June 3rd 2018 at 11:30am. That day changed our lives in so many beautiful ways," said Travis.

At just 4 days old, the dads brought their son Kathan home, and 16 months later, they celebrated his adoption being finalized. "It felt like we had been set free as a family for the first time."

Kathan's adoption day was incredibly personal for the dads so they spent it with close family and took Kathan out for celebratory brunch.

Congrats to this Orange County forever family of three.

Congratulations to dad Derek and Zack on the birth of their daughter Georgia!

On October 18, 2019, dads Derek and Zack, and big brother Hank, welcomed Georgia to the family. The family is over the moon!

"Zack and I were lucky to be able to work with the same surrogate that helped us with our son Hank," said Derek. Their family journey experienced a significant setback when one of their fertility clinic's embryo storage tanks malfunctioned, and they lost all their genetic material - 11 fertilized embryos - that Derek's sister and Zack had donated to create their family. Luckily, Derek's sister was incredible and happily flew out to donate her beautiful genes again.

"Our family is truly the living embodiment of the love of our extended family and our carrier Raelene (and her family) have for us and our dream to meet our children. Meeting Georgia, for me, was the realization of all those feelings of love and hope we felt throughout our journey."

Congrats to this San Francisco family of four!

Congratulations to dads Rob and Scott on the birth of their daughter Sierra!

Rob and Scotty's journey to fatherhood started in December 2014, and they became first time dads eighteen months later when their son Ryder was born through surrogacy. In early October this year, they welcomed their daughter, Sierra, also through surrogacy.

"Holding her for the first time was amazing and warmed our hearts completely," shared Scotty. "Our son loves his baby sister and is very protective of her!!"

Huge congrats to this Sacramento family!

Congratulations to dads Brian and John on the birth of their son Weston!

Brian Wall and his fiancé John Agricola live in Toronto, Canada, and they recently welcomed their son Weston into the world on November 13.

"Our path to fatherhood was made a little simpler because my first cousin offered to be our surrogate," said Brian. "It took about a year total from picking an egg donor and our first successful embryo transfer on March 13."

When the dads first held their son they both agreed it was the most emotional experience they've ever had. "So grateful to our surrogate and he is a healthy boy!!"

Congrats to this new family of three, and can't wait to see wedding photos from your upcoming nuptials!

Congratulations to Ricky and Jeff on finalizing the adoption of their daughter Kylie!

Ricky and Jeff finalized the adoption of their youngest on November 8, the biological sister to their son Kadyn.

"Her birth mom knew that she couldn't take care of her and wanted us to have her," shared Ricky. "We went through the county again and we were able to adopt Kylie 6 months after her birth. The extra cool experience this time around was the fact that we were invited to be there to be part of the birth."

To be finalize Kylie's adoption was "amazing" said the dads. "It means that nothing and no one can do or say anything that would effect her being with us, which almost happened about a month before the adoption day."

Congratulations to this Californian forever family of four!

News

United Nations Calls on Cambodia to End Criminalization of Surrogates

Cambodia's 2016 law criminalizes surrogacy — and requires women who work as surrogate to raise the children they conceived for intended parents as their own.

Last Friday, the United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reiterated its support to end the harassment and criminalization of surrogates in Cambodia, according to Voice of America.

The report issued by CEDAW recognized growing international criticism of the unregulated practice of surrogacy around the world, which often leads to the exploitation of women who work as surrogates. However, since surrogacy became illegal in Cambodia, over 60 women working as surrogates — the very people put in danger of exploitation — have been arrested and subjected to criminal proceedings. The women were only released according to VOA, under the condition of raising the surrogate children until they are 18.

"The Committee is particularly concerned that such an obligation creates an additional financial and emotional burden on women who are in precarious situations, which led them to act as surrogates in the first place," the report reads, "and that they face discrimination and stigma from their families and communities for having acted as surrogates."

CEDAW called on the Cambodian government to repeal the October 2016 law — particularly the requirement of raising the children they conceived for other intended parents as their own. This punishment is particularly onerous given that many of these women entered surrogacy arrangement against their will, said Chak Sopheap, Executive Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, speaking to VOA.

"Surrogate women in Cambodia are likely to be at the sharp end of various economic and political hardships that caused them to make the decision to become a surrogate," she told VOA in an email. "We have seen, over the past year, women surrogates raided, charged with human trafficking, and detained, with no transparency from the authorities as to their wellbeing or that of the children they have given birth to."

Read more about this story here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Raising Grounded Kids in Crazy Manhattan

When it comes to raising kids in Manhattan, Dr. Evan Goldstein lives by this lesson — less is more.

There are several lessons that we all learn as we continue to age on this wacky place called earth. But I learned one of life's most important nuggets my first year of medical school, and it has never left me. I remember this one night in particular—it was late, and I had been studying when I realized I forgot an important book in the stacks of the library. Thankfully, a janitor opened the locked door and allowed me to retrieve my belongings. I remember it took him a while to open the locked section that I needed to enter, as he had so many dangling keys on his keychain. He responded to me gazing at the lock by saying, "Son, I may only be a janitor without any education beyond high school, but I have seen medical student after student enter this school for the past 25 years. Can I give you some advice?" "Of course," I said. "Do you see all these keys on this keychain?" he said. "Every single one holds a new responsibility. Less keys, less responsibility. Less is more! Remember that my friend." And with that, he was gone.

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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 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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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