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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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Gay Dad Family Stories

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Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

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4 Tips for Using Instagram to Connect with Gay Dads Offline

We asked gay dads who have successfully met up with other LGBTQ families offline for some of their tips

Last week, we ran a story about several gay dads who did the unthinkable: meet other gay dads IRL after connecting on Instagram! We get MANY questions from gay dads wondering how they can meet up with others in their area, so we decided to dig a bit deeper this week to get their advice. What can gay dads do to meet others off the 'gram?

1. Be kind — share others' excitement in parenting!


From @twinlifedads Ben and Andy:

"Be kind. That is absolutely it. Be kind to each other and don't be afraid to reach out. Respond to each other when you can. Share in excitement for each other. There is no reason to bring someone else down who might be excited about how they are parenting."

2. Drop a couple comments and likes before reaching out!

From @brisvegasdad Tim and Nic:

"I think drop comments now and then on their posts and instastories and see where things land. Chances are, if you're commenting on a post and it is a heartfelt response, they'll click through to your account, look at your photos and connect with you. And that's when the magic happens - you can introduce yourself, talk about your lives and how things are being a parent... and after a while, if you're in the same neighbourhood, you meet up and grow your friendship organically. That being said, I'm obsessed with Bobby Berk from Queer Eye and his husband Dewey Do - if they ever had kids, I'd probably be completely unsubtle and leave strange awkward comments on their instaposts saying, 'GAY DADS MEET UPSSSSS'."

3. Go in with no expectations

From @stevecsmith Steve and Ben:

"I always try to reach out without any expectations – mostly just to provide a positive comment. I like to leave it up to the other parents to comment or message back before suggesting meeting up or a playdate. Every family is different, so how each person is going to respond is different too."

4. Keep trying!

From @theconways13 Ricky and Jeff:

"Reach out to other families, start a light friendly conversation. Get to know each other and let conversations happen organically. If they lead to a play date great! Our first experience in meeting another lgbt family (not through ig/gwk) was very awkward cause there wasn't a whole lot of conversation happening before hand. The conversations leading up to the play date will help make the first play date with the family go a lot smoother and fun. Don't be afraid of not connecting with the other families. If it isn't successful the first time, continue reaching out to to other families- don't let it deter you from reaching out to others."

Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

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In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

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Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

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Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

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We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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