Gay Dad Life

After Fatherhood Eludes Him Once, Marco Waits His Turn

Marco-Stefano is 33 years old, from the Netherlands, works as a store manager and also as a fashion designer. Someday he'd love to be a father and to share that dream with another man. Years ago, he and his then-boyfriend had come close to becoming parents through surrogacy. But after his boyfriend's brush with cancer, their plans were put on hold. The relationship unfortunately didn't last.

The biggest thing holding Marco-Stefano back right now, he says, is going it alone. We spoke with him to see where he is on his road to fatherhood.


Tell us about your preferred path to parenthood. Adoption or surrogacy. For me this was only the option I thought it was more for me (and my former partner) I had the offer to be a donor for some friends... but I don't want to be a weekend papa... I'm always open for other options.

Have you found enough information about your preferred path to parenthood? I have only found information on the internet and at a clinic.

Marco-Stefano with his mother and role model

What do you think is your biggest obstacle to becoming a dad? I think my biggest obstacle is that i am single now. I would love to have a partner to share this together, but it's hard. In the dating scene not everybody is thrilled to maybe one day be a parent. But I'm open and positive that it can be good.

What steps have you taken towards becoming a dad? A few years ago when I was still with my former partner we talked about what I was missing in my life. I said I dreamt of becoming a father one day and to start a family. We looked at the possibilities, like adoption or IVF. We went to an IVF clinic in Belgium to get more information, and I talked with some friends who wanted to carry the child for us. Unfortunately a few months later he was diagnosed with lymph cancer, so my priority was his health first. After a long battle with chemo and many visits to the hospital he survived, but our relationship didn't and we broke up after 8 years together.

What fears or concerns do you have about becoming a dad? Does your sexuality/gender identity play into those fears? I think the fear I have is with the outside world; it can be cruel sometimes, especially for a kid with same-sex parents. But if that's only my fear and my kids are okay with it, then I can learn from them.

What most excites you about becoming a dad? I hear from new parents who've had babies that they only sleep, cry, drink and poop and that you would have little sleep. I can't wait to experience this!! And to see them grow to teens and then adults, and that you always have their back with love and support.

How soon do you hope to start your family? That depends if it's destiny to have kids. It's up to time and the gods to decide.

Marco-Stefano is a wonderful and patient babysitter ... ;)

What are you most looking for in a potential partner? For me, personally, it would be someone who is ambitious, romantic and passionate. It's give and take, and that no matter what, we always fight for each other when needed and to share our love with each other and hopefully our family.

As a gay man who wants children one day, what is dating like for you? Difficult, because I make it perfectly clear that I'm not into one-night-stands. I'm open to something serious, but when talking about the future and hopefully to have kids someday, it doesn't match sometimes with their future plans.

Would you consider becoming a single dad? If so, what are your biggest concerns about becoming a single dad? This is an option I've thought about already for a long long time. I always had bad luck in my love life so maybe it's not for me. The kid(s) would have infinite love from me, my only concern is that financially it can be a struggle to raise them all alone.

Answers slightly edited for clarity.

Show Comments ()
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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!

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How the Shut Down Opened Me Up to Being a Better Dad

David Blacker's dad used to tell him to 'stop and smell the roses' — the shut down has led him to finally take the advice

"Stop and smell the roses." It was the thing my dad always said to me when I was growing up. But like many know-it-all kids, I didn't listen. I was determined to keep my eye on the prize. Whether it was getting good grades in school, getting my work published, scoring the next big promotion, buying a house or starting a family. For me, there was no such thing as resting on my laurels. It has always been about what's next and mapping out the exact course of action to get me there.

Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

Keep reading... Show less
Transracial Families Series

How This Transracial Family Creates a 'Safe Space' to Talk About Their Differences

Kevin and David know they can never understand what it's like growing up as a young black girl — but they strive to create a 'safe space' for their daughters to talk about the experience

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

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Movie Night: My Favorite Family Tradition

As his sons have gotten older, the movies have morphed away from cartoons and towards things blowing up — but movie night remains his favorite family tradition.

Editor's Note: This is the next in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about his life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Of all of our traditions and rituals, probably the most consistent and longest-lasting one was movie night. Sure, we read the heck out of Harry Potter. But our capacity for watching Harry Potter? We're talking Quidditch World Cup here, folks.

In its early version, movie night looked like this: During the week, I would order a movie and a cartoon from Netflix—back when "Netflix" meant "mail." On Saturday night—and I mean, faithfully, every Saturday night—we would order a pepperoni pizza (which Mark faithfully took the meat off of—I'll get to food later) for delivery and then sit and watch our cartoon and movies while eating. The kids had a say in the movie, but I got to pick the cartoon. They watched enough of their own cartoons on the regular, and besides, this gave me a great opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Josie and the Pussycats.


Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Happy Mother's Day From Gays With Kids!

To all of the women who have supported the journey of gay, bi and trans men towards fatherhood — thank you, and happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day can be complicated holiday for many gay, bi and trans dads and their kids. Choosing how, when — or even if — to celebrate the day is a uniquely personal decision. But no matter how we've become dads, women have helped us achieve our dreams of fatherhood. And for that reason, we've loved celebrating all of the women who have supported our journeys to fatherhood, in ways big and small, over the years. Check out some of our favorite photos, essays, articles and more below!


Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse