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22 Pics of Gay Men Before and After They Became Adoptive Dads

Photos of Gay Men Before and After They Created Their Families Through Adoption

As gay dads, we all have our stories about how we became parents, whether it was through adoption, foster-care, surrogacy, or straight relationships (to name a few more common paths). But sometimes it's worth taking a look back at our before-kids photos, just to then look at our family photos again, and be extra thankful this Fathers' Day.

Here's a walk down memory lane for some of the dads in our community: the before and after photos.

Happy Fathers' Day, dads!

Chris and Troy

Photo: Chris and Troy, April 2015. (This photo was used in their adoption profile.)

Dads Chris and Troy with their daughter Olivia

Chris and Troy's adoption profile went live on June 25, 2015. They waited nine months before they were matched, and on March 17, 2016, they spoke with Olivia's incredibly strong birth mother. They spent the next three months getting to know her and her family through visits, calls and letters.

On July 4, 2016, their baby girl was born and Chad and Troy became dads to their "smart, independent and beautiful daughter."

“We are the luckiest. So much love."

Family photo: June 2017

Patrick and Mel

Photo: Patrick (left) and Mel, 2014

Dads Patrick and Mel with their daughter Kylie

For Mel and Patrick, kids were always part of the plan, but they didn't use an adoption agency; Kylie came to them through a family adoption around a year ago. Although neither of them were prepared at the time, they made it work and they couldn't be happier as a family of three!

"Sharing our love with her has been the biggest blessing!"

Family photo: June 2018

Arejay and Mauricio

Photo: Arejay (left) and Mauricio, February 2015

Dads Arejay and Mauricio with their son Dylan

Arejay and Mauricio began the process to become licensed foster parents after their wedding in 2015. After working with an non-receptive agency, they switched to a more embracing agency, and seven months later, they were licensed. Dylan, their son, came to their house just days after he was born, and in October 2017 his adoption was finalized.

The dads to Dylan: "We cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives loving you, protecting you, and doing whatever we need to make you happy."

Family photo: May 2018

Nick and Chris

Chris (left) and Nick, 2014. Used for Nick and Chris' adoption book

Photo: Chris (left) and Nick, 2014. (This photo was used for their adoption book.)

Dads Nick and Chris with daughter Ari

Nick and Chris began showing their adoption profile book in March 2016. Within a month they were matched with a birth mom who was well into her pregnancy. It wasn't meant to be, and their first match decided to parent the baby.

In July of the same year, they were matched again, and the dads were there when their baby girl entered the world. Born on December 22, 2016, the dads left the hospital with Ari on Christmas Eve, and the adoption was finalized on July 18, 2017, also their 3rd wedding anniversary.

"We are blessed beyond words and just want to soak up all these tiny moments that make up this journey."

Family photo: April 2018

Danny and Graham

Photo: Graham (left) and Danny with their dog Claire, February 2016. (This photo was used for their adoption profile.)

Dads Danny and Graham with son Collin

Danny and Graham's adoption profile went live after Thanksgiving 2016. Initially they used a different photo - one from their wedding - but after hearing nothing from potential birth moms, they decided to swap the photo for the one above with their beloved dog Claire. They were quickly matched after exchanging the photo, and one of the reasons their birth mother chose them was because of this photo. She shared that if they could make a dog that happy, she knew they would be great parents.

On July 13, 2017, their son Collin was born. The whole process happened rather quickly, they both admit, but the legal paperwork wasn't completed till October.

"Everyone in our family isn't related by blood, but by love," said Graham. "Including our adopted dog, Claire."

Family photo: Danny (left) and Graham with Collin, June 2018

Brandon and Chad

Photo: Brandon (left) and Chad, July 2016. (This photo was used for their adoption profile, online and print.)

Dads Brandon and Chad with baby Alba

Brandon and Chad's profile went live in October 2016. They were matched 13 weeks later. Sadly, after six months with the birth mom, the match ultimately did not work out. But they didn't have to wait long till they were connected with Alba's birth mother.

Eight weeks passed and they received another call for a baby who was due any day. Seven days later they were dads!

"When the nurses brought Alba out and presented her to us, they said, 'Baby Girl, meet your daddies; daddies, meet your beautiful daughter!' One thing for certain, it was love at first sight!"

Family photo: June 2018

Dads Mark and Jason with baby Jett

Mark and Jason's adoption profile went live on August 15, 2017. Three months later they found out they were matched with a birth mom, and on November 16 they became dads to Jett.

"We have so much to be thankful for, but nothing can compare to the love that surrounds us and our new son."

Family photo: November 2017

Jason and Joshua

Photo: Jason (left) and Joshua, June, 2014

Dads Jason and Joshua with their kids

July 2017

Jason and Joshua began their journey in August 2015 when they contacted local social services and started their adoption journey. In took six months to become approved to adopt, and after that they began the matching process.

In July 2016 they were made aware of a brother and sister that needing a forever home. The dads immediately fell in love and expressed their interest in the siblings, and after a long period of assessments and meetings, they were officially matched with them in December 2016. The became a family of four in January 2017.

"Life is truly amazing, we never knew how much love and joy they could bring into our lives."

Family photo: July 2017

Zac and Chris

Photo: Chris (left) and Zac, March 2017. (This photo was used for their adoption profile.)

Dads Zac and Chris with baby Jett

Zac and Chris had originally decided upon surrogacy as their chosen path to fatherhood, but after following another couple's adoption journey, they had a change of heart and switched to adoption. Their profile went live on April 28, 2017, and four months later, they were matched with a birth family.

Jett was born October 15, 2017, and his adoption was finalized on May 2, 2018.

"We wouldn't trade it for anything."

Family photo: June 2018

Ricky and Jeff

Photo: Ricky and Jeff, November 2015. (This photo was used for their adoption profile.)

Dads Ricky and Jeff with their son Kayden

Ricky and Jeff began their adoption journey in 2014 and became certified in 2015. Soon after, their profile went live. On January 16, 2017, the husbands were notified of a 2-day old baby up for adoption. Kayden came home with them six days later.

On September 29, 2017, the adoption was finalized and they became an official family of three!

"The best thing about being a dad is how he relies on us for comfort and love; watching him grow into the loving little man that he's becoming."

Family photo: March 2018

Mitch and Jake

Photo: Mitch (left) and Jake, November 2015

Dads Mitch and Jake with Aiden and Andrew

After Mitch and Jake's adoption profile went live in spring 2015, and they were matched twice before becoming dads. The first birth mother decided to parent herself, and the second went silent. They later found out the second birth mother had suffered a miscarriage. But in August 2016, the dads-to-be were matched for a third time, and this time it was meant to be.

On November 3, 2016, their twins Aiden and Andrew were born at 35 weeks.

"Our dreams came true on Thursday, November 3rd at 1:10 pm and 1:12 pm, when our sons Aiden and Andrew were born ... We are completely smitten and over the moon."

Family photo: June 2018

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Demolition Daddies: These Gay Dads Recently Appeared on House Hunters Renovation

The dads say their star turn on the popular HGTV show is all thanks to their two-year-old son, Theo, who charmed the producers

"I'm really not sure what our lives were like before having our son," pondered Matt. "I remember always doing stuff, but I have no idea how I wasted all that personal time that I find so precious now. I took so many showers without someone trying to pull all the towels down to make a bed on the bathroom floor. It must have been nice, but also wasn't as memorable."

Matt DeLeva and fiancé Joseph Littlefield met in 2014 at a Pride event at the San Diego Zoo, and have a 2-year-old son Theo through adoption. For this Los Angeles-based couple, and like many others, becoming dads was an emotional rollercoaster. Before being matched with Theo's birth family, they had two other connections with birth moms that didn't work out. "Each was upsetting," said Matt. "When you talk to birth mothers, you start to get excited and mentally plan your future. When it doesn't work out, it feels like a loss."

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This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

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Learn How These Dads Used Social Media to Find Their Surrogate

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In this, the Broadway Husbands' sixth video, Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna discuss the rather unprecedented process they went through to find their surrogate. The lucky couple also chat about winning an "Intended Parents" competition, which granted them the free services of a surrogacy agency who is now helping guide them (and their new surrogate!) on their journey.

In the first video below, get caught up to speed with the dads-to-be. Plus: there's bonus footage! Ever wondered about the financial side of their journey? In the second video, Bret and Stephen talk candidly about how they're managing to afford their dream of fatherhood.

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Terrell and Jarius need your help. Earlier this week they were made aware of an act of discrimination against a male transgender student at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia

"Dex Frier was elected by the student body to run for prom king but is now facing backlash from the school's administration," shared the dads via their Instagram. "The school's Superintendent is forcing Dex to either run as prom queen or not run at all. This is very unjust and does NOT reflect the opinion of the parents nor the students."

Watch their video below:

Dex, 17, who came out identifying as male in his sophomore year, spoke with Gainsville Times about being nominated by the student body. "Frier said he kept his emotions in check while at school, but 'the moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I've never been shown so much support before,' Frier added."

He was later informed by school officials that his name had been withdrawn and he could only run in the prom queen ballot.

Sadly, there have been rival petitions started in support of Dex's nomination being withdrawn, and he's received backlash from those who believe he shouldn't be able to run.

Although Terrell and Jarius do not know Dex personally, they were made aware of what was happening through Jarius co-worker who is a parent at the school. "He's such a brave kid and is standing firm in his beliefs, and we should support him," said Jarius.

These dads are asking all of us to take a minute and sign this petition and share with friends and family, or anyone you think could help.

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Gay Single Dads Defend Andy Cohen's Right to Be on Grindr

After the Internet rushed to judge Andy Cohen for signing onto Grindr a couple of weeks after welcoming his newborn son home, fellow single gay dads rushed to his defense.

Last week, we wrote a post about reports that "What What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen had been "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up"

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.

Well, suffice it to say that this judgment from people who are presumably not single gay dads of Andy Cohen certainly struck a nerve with our gay dad audience! We received well over 100 comments on this post on Facebook, the vast majority of them coming to Cohen's defense. We caught up with two fellow single gay dads to find out why the story struck a nerve.

"We don't have to live like monks!"

One of the most liked comments on our piece came from Owen Lonzar, who wrote the following:

"I have always been a good single father to my biological son who came to live with me when he was 7 years old. He is now 25 years old and we are very close. I used Grindr and dated while he lived with me. I never had anyone sleep over and he certainly never saw some man he didn't know hanging around my home. Single parents have to date responsibly and with sensitivity to their child but that doesn't mean they have to live like monks!"

We asked Cohen to elaborate a bit more on why the backlash against Cohen bothered him. He had the sense, he said, that much of the criticism against LGBTQ parents comes from gay men without children. "Gay men without kids have a lot to say," he said. "And all of it is ignorant, because they have no idea what it means to actually be a father." He said he was particularly disappointed in gay critics, given our shared history of discrimination. "You would think with all the prejudice we have faced that gay men would be less judgmental themselves," he said.

"Are we supposed to be celibate?"

Another commenter, Josue Sebastian Dones-Figueroa, who is a divorced father of five, questioned what Cohen's critics would prefer him do. "So what, parents are supposed to become celibate because they have kids?" he asked.

We followed up with Josue to ask him to elaborate a bit more: "The idea that just because he is a dad that he would need to stop being a man," he said, questioning why Cohen should have to put his life hold and stop dating, or having sex, just because he's now a father. "If the child is cared for loved and not neglected what is the problem? Life goes on right?"


Gay Dad Life

Internet Conflicted About Advice Given to Closeted Gay Dad in the Guardian

Ok fellow gay dads: if you were the advice columnist at the Guardian, what would you have said?

Recently, in a post titled "I met my girlfriend's parents – and realized I once slept with her father," a man wrote into the advice column at the Guardian with the following predicament:

"Five years ago, I went through a bi phase and used to sleep around with pretty much everyone that came along, including other men. This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me. I recently met her parents and halfway through lunch realised that I had slept with her father. I was going to propose, but when my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter. I'm obviously in love – shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner?"

Pamela Stephenson, the Guardian's columnist, responded as follows:

"I am not sure you could ever have a comfortable future with your new partner. To tell the truth would be to court disaster: a probable break-up, plus the risk of a permanent rift between father and daughter and father and wife. Hiding the truth would lead to toxic secret-keeping that could be equally destructive in the long run. If this whole family was as open-minded and sexually open as you, it might be possible for you to become part of it. However, the father – your former lover – has made it clear that you will not be welcome. Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family and yourself."

Not all commenters agreed with Stephenson's advice.

"Assuming your girlfriend knows that you were bi until falling in love with her and that you slept with everybody in your path [which she deserved to know up front anyway] then you can give HER the option what to do with this bond, rather than leaving the choice to her dad," said one commenter.

Another said, "Walking away without explaining why would be callous and also allow the father to escape the possible consequences of his actions."

It's worth noting that none of these commenters, nor the columnist, are or will ever be gay dads, whose perspective on this bizarre situation may be uniquely valuable. Many gay dads have become fathers while still in the closet. And even those who became dads after coming out can still sympathize with the detrimental impacts of the closet on our lives and those of our families.

So what say you, gay dads, about this man's predicament?

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This Women's History Month, Gay Men Honor the Gals Who Help Make Them Dads

Each and every man becomes a dad with the help of a woman. We asked gay dads to honor one who helped them along in their path to parenthood to help us celebrate women's history month.

Each and every one of us became (or will become) a dad with the help of a woman--more often than not, with the help of multiple women. So this Women's History Month, we choose to celebrate these women by asking you to tell us a bit about them. Enjoy these inspiring stories below. Want to honor a woman in your life who has helped you become a dad? Tell us about her at dads@gayswithkids.com

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