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"A New Level of Love": Congrats to Gay Men Whose Families Grew in February!

This month's Congrats post was brought to you by Choice Network in Ohio. Choice Network is a national leader in LGBTQ adoption.

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 dads!

This month's Congrats post was brought to you by Choice Network in Ohio. Choice Network is a national leader in LGBTQ adoption. They have a goal of 50% of their families being created with LGBTQ people. "It is our core value that love makes a family." We're thrilled to be partnering with Choice Network to offer our congrats to dads whose families grew this month!


Congrats new dads Evan and Jordan on the birth of their daughter, Quinn Marie!

After a year long adoption journey, Jordan and Evan are thrilled to announce the arrival of their daughter, Quinn Marie. Quinn was born early January to two doting dads.

Jordan and I have been together for over 7 year," shared Evan, "and from early on in our relationship we knew we wanted to build a family together."

When asked what it was like holding Quinn for the first time, Evan said it was like nothing else he'd even felt before. "It's a new level of love, protection, responsibility that is just the best feeling in the world."

Congrats new dads AK and Brandon on the arrival of your son, Andrew!

The Orlando dads made a life-changing trip to Arizona to be present at their son's birth. "Andrew was one of the 'meant to be' adoptions," shared AK. "Our initial home visit was in August 2018, and we were matched early November! The birth family is from another state and they are simply amazing! This family was so supportive of the birth mother's decision to place for adoption."

The dads were the first ones to hold Andrew and to feed him, and they also cut the umbilical cord.

"I just never knew holding something so small could change your world completely in an instant! So many emotions of feeling like a dream and yet the parental instincts just turn on."

Congrats to dads McKenzie and Devin on the birth of the daughter Elizabeth!

3 years after meeting their surrogate, dads McKenzie and Devin welcomed their daughter Elizabeth in January 2019.

"When we first held Elizabeth, we both knew that our lives were changed forever," shared McKenzie. "It was an incredible experience that we will never forget."

"Becoming dads has proven to be the best decision we have ever made and we are looking forward to growing as a family," added Devin.

We're thrilled for this family who live in Okinawa, Japan!

Jordan and Devon finalized the adoption of their daughter, Ruby!

"It's official! Our adoption of Baby Ruby Mac has been finalized by the court system and we couldn't be happier - Ruby was so happy she spit up!"

Devon and Jordan are thrilled to announce that the adoption of their daughter was finalized on February 15.

"Today the legal system caught up to what Jordan and I have known since we first saw our daughter," said Devon via an Instagram post. "Baby Ruby Mac is our daughter. Today it's as official on paper as it has always been in our hearts."

Congrats to new dads Derek and Jeff who welcomed baby Abigail!

Baby Abigail (who goes by Abby) was born February 4, 2019. The Floridian dads are over the moon!

"Our adoption journey was so fantastic," shared Derek. "A friend of ours with whom we had discussed us wanting to have kids text us just before Halloween and said she knew a young couple who were looking for an LGBT couple to adopt their baby. She asked if we would be interested. We said of course but didn't really think much would come of it. Two days later we had a call with them. Two days after that we drove to Tampa to meet them. And five days after that they called us to tell us that they had chosen us. It happened so fast. And we had an instant connection with them. It just all sort of felt 'meant to be.'"

The dads were in the delivery room right until the birth mom started pushing. Once Abby had been delivered, the dads held their daughter for the first time. "When they put the baby in your arms for the first time and tell you to say hello to your daughter, there just aren't words to describe it. It's just love."

Congrats to dads Nick and Ray on the birth of their twins Lucca and Rocco!

On February 9, dads Nick and Ray welcomed twin boy and girl via surrogate, making them a family of five!

"We couldn't believe they were here," shared Nick. "And so happy they were healthy. I felt this overwhelming sense of love for them... for my family."

Mittica, their eldest, is loving helping her two dads care for her siblings. "She brings bottles and shakes them up," said Ray. "She gets burp clothes and blankets for them, and she likes to hold the bottle to help feed."

Congrats to this family of five!

Congratulations to dads Suraj and David on obtaining their Parental Order for daughter Marnie!

On February 15, Birmingham dads Suraj and David were thrilled when they were granted the Parental Order for daughter Marnie.

"It was a brilliant feeling to finally get the parental order," said Suraj. "There's so much to think about with surrogacy and the legal side can seem really daunting. But we managed to everything ourselves and it went without a hitch."

"Our advice to people in the same position is stay calm and focused, talk to people who've been through it and you'll be fine," added David. "In the end, our day in court was one of the best days of our lives!"

Congratulations to dads Tom and Doug on finalizing the adoption of their daughter Camillia!

"My heart is full." On February 8, dads Doug and Tom finalized the adoption of their daughter Camillia.

"We brought Camillia into our lives straight from the hospital," said Tom. "She has always been a happy, spunky, and completely sassy little girl. She has the biggest heart and amazes us every day."

The dads have always known in their hearts that Camillia was in her forever home. "We honestly didn't know this level of love was capable until we had children."

Congratulations to Grant and Miguel on the birth of their son Jasper!

"After 3 years of perseverance and patience, our surrogacy journey ended with the birth of our beautiful child," shared new dad Grant. "There were certainly moments when we felt discouraged, but we always believed our child would find us when the time was right." (Read Grant's blog post about his journey to fatherhood on GWK here.)

We're thrilled for this Toronto couple who welcomed their son Jasper on February 2019.

"Holding our baby for the first time was surreal; it's the only way to describe it. We just stared at this beautiful child in disbelief. We have never felt this kind of love before and it takes your breath away."

We're excited to continue following Grant, Miguel and Jasper's journey as Grant keeps us up-to-date via his blogging.

Love makes good families. Whether traditional or non-conforming to historically accepted definitions of family - we accept you. If you are ready and willing to participate in open adoption and honoring the pregnant person who has chosen you, you are welcome here. It's that simple. We also will fight for you. Choice Network does not shy away from hate. We are armed with well documented research, honest stories of our own, and the inherent truth that love makes good families.

We proudly carry the Human Rights Campaign status of Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Families!

Visit Choice Network's site

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News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

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Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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