Gay Dad Life

"Now We Have Everything": Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

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


Congratulations to Melton and Thomas on the adoption finalization of their daughter, Kendall!

In 2005, Thomas and Melton became first-time dads to their eldest daughter Kendra, but it took 10 years of legal wrangling to finalize her adoption. (Read their story here.) Now, they have three daughters, and recently finalized the adoption of Kendall on August 20th, their second eldest whom they've been fathers to since she was 2 days old.

"Kendall came into our lives on September 9, 2016, two days after her birth," shared Thomas. "Three months after Kendall, we began to foster another newborn with whom we are in the process of adopting."

"We felt relieved, grateful and blessed on the day of the adoption finalization," said Melton.

With two adoptions finalized, and one more to go, Kendra is loving her role as a big sister to two little ones. According to Thomas, Kendra says they are going to be partners in crime when they get older! Congratulations to this fabulous Miami family.

Congratulations to dads Jeff and Cade on their latest addition, Finnegan!

Jeff and Cade became dads through adoption to their eldest son, Riley. And just last month, they grew their family again via adoption. Welcome baby Finnegan!

"We feel so delighted now that we are a family of four," shared Jeff. "Our oldest is loving the big brother role (so far!)"

"The adoption process this time around was certainly another journey," added Cade, "but also another story for us to tell our sons as they get older."

Congratulations to this San Francisco family!

Congrats to Jay and Zack on their recent adoption!

Jay and Zack took their first adoption class in July 2017, and at the end of March 2018, they joined the waiting families list. In July, they heard about baby boy who was going to be placed for adoption.

"We heard about Landon on July 27th, he was a 3 weeks old by this point," said Jay. "We had to wait a grueling 11 days to know if we had been chosen. We were picked the morning of August 6th and took him home the next afternoon."

The Chicago dads now feel complete. "We were wrapping our minds around the fact that it was going to take much longer on the waiting families list," said Zack. "But when we started to hear his story and were going through the process to be chosen, we just wanted Landon to go to the right family for him to be loved."

"It's been so overwhelming since it happened so quickly for us but we wouldn't have it any other way," said Jay.

Congratulations to dads Travis and Garrett on beginning their foster journey!

Travis and Garrett began the process of becoming foster dads in September 2017; they were officially licensed June 22, 2018. Ten days later, they got the call that would change their lives.

"First we had each other, then we had our fur babies, then we had you," shared Garrett. "Now we have everything."

These Salt Lake City foster dads are clearly very much in love, and we can't wait to follow this family journey.

Congratulations to dads Mehl and Eddie for finalizing the adoption of their son, Sebastian!

It took dads Eddie and Mehl seven months finalize the adoption of their son Sebastian, but on Tuesday August 28th, it was official.

"One of the happiest days in our lives!" shared Eddie via his Instagram post. "It's a dream come true... forever ours!"

We're so happy for this Washington, D.C. forever family of four!

Congratulations to dads Damien and Tim on the birth of Aury!

In November 2017, Damien and Tim shared their plans to adopt, and on August 7, little Aury was born.

"The first time we held Aury—minutes after his birth and APGAR—was a surreal moment," shared new dads Damien. "Months of adoption work and getting ready at home didn't prepare us for the overwhelmingly joyful experience of holding the squirming little life we had yearned to welcome and love with big hearts. There were tears, quiet stares of wonder, and hundreds of snapped photos that combined to share one sentiment, 'Welcome home, our little lion man.'"

This forever family of three live near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Congratulations to new dads Stephan and Wyley on the birth of Rowan!

Stephan and Wyley didn't plan on becoming dads, Wyley's pregnancy was actually a surprise. A wonderful, life-changing surprise. Wyley is a FTM trans man and didn't think that he could get pregnant. But one day, he started getting sick in the morning, and later found out he was 11 weeks pregnant.

"Rowan is our little blessing from the universe," shared Stephan. "Nine months of getting our home ready - a short shuttle bus - ready for a baby, along with preparing our minds and bodies, prenatal yoga, birthing classes, books by vegan parents, traveling parents, minimalist parents and the few we could find on trans parenthood. We reached out to a community we barely knew and felt welcomed."

"Having Rowan feels like we have found the piece of us we hadn't known was missing," added Wyley. "A completion of our family."

The new family of three lives in San Antonio, Texas, and feel very blessed to be supported by their amazing families and an awesome new community of parents.

Congratulations to Matthias and Carlos on the birth of their son Benjamin!

Before they began their surrogacy journey, Matthias and Carlos were asked many times if they were sure they wanted to do this? "Yes, we were sure, and now we love every second of it!" shared Matthias. They became dads to baby Benjamin during summer this year and it's exactly what they hoped for.

The couple have been together since 2006, lived in Spain (where Carlos is from) and now reside in Cologne, Germany, as Matthias is German. They first considered adoption but it was too difficult in both of their home countries, so they turned to surrogacy in the US.

"Just recently, when Benjamin smiled back at us, the love towards him got even stronger, something that seemed impossible," shared Carlos. "I guess that is something every parent can confirm when their kid is smiling at them."

This family plans to keep in touch with the incredible women who helped them become dads. And they're hopeful that Benjamin won't be an only child for long.

Congratulations to Matt and Matt on the birth of their twin, Maci and Madison!

Congratulations to Matt and Matt who became first-time dads to twin girls via surrogacy on September 18.

"When the moment finally came and we got to hold our daughters, it was surreal how quickly our lives were changed and made better," shared Matt. "It was instant love like nothing we'd ever felt."

Wishing this new family of four many happy wishes! Thanks for sharing your exciting news with us!

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Salt Lake Gay Couple Behind Viral Wedding Proposal Become Foster Dads

They've gone viral, appeared on Ellen, and were married by Queen Latifa. What can top all that? Fatherhood.

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Over 5 years ago, you might remember seeing an amazing proposal that took place in a Home Depot in Utah. With the help of close friends and family, Spencer organized an incredible flash mob to sweep Dustin off his feet. If you did see it, you're one of the 14 million viewers who did. (If you have been living under a rock, you can see the video below!)

The fiancés quickly became an overnight sensation thanks to this unbelievably romantic stunt. They even appeared on Ellen and were given engagement gifts. (You know you've made it once Ellen starts giving you stuff.) Dustin and Spencer were also part of a symbolic wedding ceremony with many other couples who were married during the 2014 Grammy's event, by Queen Latifa, while Macklemore sang "Same Love."

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The study also found that over half of gay dads have avoided certain social situations in the last year for fear of experiencing stigma.

According to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vast majority of gay men and their children experience some form of stigma. The findings are based on a survey of 732 gay father across 47 states in the United States.

More gay men are becoming fathers each year, and have more options for doing so than ever before: including adoption, foster care, and surrogacy. However as the study's authors write: "Despite legal, medical, and social advances, gay fathers and their children continue to experience stigma and avoid situations because of fear of stigma. Increasing evidence reveals that stigma is associated with reduced well-being of children and adults, including psychiatric symptoms and suicidality"

Almost two-thirds of respondents, or 63.5%, reported experiencing stigma based on being a gay father within the last year. Over half, or 51.2%, said they have avoided situations for fear of stigma, in the past year. Importantly, the study found that fathers living in states with more legal protections for LGBTQ people and families experienced fewer barriers and stigma. Most experiences of stigma (almost 35%) occurred, unsurprisingly, in a religious environment. But another quarter of gay dads said they experienced stigma from a wide variety of other sources, including: family members, neighbors, waiters, service providers, and salespeople

Surprisingly (or perhaps not?) another source of stigma cited by the study originates from other gay men. "Gay men report suspicion and criticism for their decision to be parents from gay friends who have not chosen parenthood." The study also says gay dads often feel "isolation in their parental role."

The study concludes, "Despite growing acceptance of parenting by same-gender adults, barriers and stigma persist. States' legal and social protections for lesbian and gay individuals and families appear to be effective in reducing experiences of stigma for gay fathers."

Read the whole study here.

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I literally never thought I'd see the day. Literally.

Gay fathers on the cover of Parents Magazine! Gay fathers being celebrated in a "main stream" publication about being parents. Gay fathers!

I don't want to get overly dramatic here, but this is a milestone. A massive cultural milestone.

Sure, gay dads have come a long way in being accepted in our popular culture, but to my eye we've never been on the cover of a big popular parenting magazine celebrating our parenting skills. As if we are the norm.

We are now - thanks to Parents Magazine.

This is a particular milestone for me because I have a bit of a history with the magazine and with parenting publications in general. My first job out of grad school was in brand marketing at Johnson's Baby Products where I did indeed run advertising in this particular magazine. Back then though we only featured married, straight couples. There were no other kinds of parents to feature back in the day! And if I'm to be really honest, they were generally white, married, straight couples.

I distinctly remember one photo shoot where I forgot to put a wedding ring on the "husband's" finger and we had to reshoot it. No photoshop back then!

Now admittedly this was before I was a dad and before I was out, but as the years went by and I embraced my own journey as a gay dad, there were no role models or pop culture markers to say that I (and other gay dads) were accepted. There were no Andy Cohens publicly making baby announcements. We were alone on our parenting.

It was hard. There was a constant barrage of straight parenting norms that constantly reminded us that we were different.
Not any more! Being a gay dad, or any dad, is now simply being a parent. A good parent. A loving parent. And we have Parents Magazine to thank for the reminder and endorsement, with hopefully more to come.

And I can't help but think, and actually know, that this kind of normalization will inspire the next generation of gay dads who will simply accept, without hesitation, that fatherhood as a gay man is a real, accepted, and normal option.

Bravo!

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