Popular

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

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Photo Essays

5 Pics of Ricky Martin In Newborn Baby Bliss

He may be a superstar most of the year, but with a new baby girl at home, Ricky Martin is just a regular ol' dad deep in the throes of newborn baby bliss.

On January 1st, 2019 superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Featured on Cover of Parents Magazine for First Time

Fitness guru Shaun T. and his husband Scott Blokker are the first gay dads to be featured on the cover of Parents Magazine

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!

Gay Dad Family Stories

Adoption for These Dads Was Like a "Rollercoaster" But Well Worth the Ride

After multiple scam attempts, bizarre leads, and a birth mom's change of heart, Jason and Alex finally became dads.

Photo credit: Dale Stine

Every gay man who pursues fatherhood fights for their right to become a dad. They've had to keep going even when at times it's seemed hopeless. Jason Hunt-Suarez and Alex Suarez's story is no different. They had their hearts set on adoption; overcame multiple scams, some very bizarre leads, a birth mother's change of heart at the 11th hour, their adoption agency going bankrupt, and tens of thousands of dollars lost along the way. But after a long, turbulent, and heart-wrenching three-year-long journey, it was all worth it.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Study Finds Two-Thirds of Gay Dads Experienced Stigma in Last Year

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.

Sponsored

Broadway Husbands Talk Eggs, Embryos and Exciting News

The husbands explain what is considered a good egg retrieval.

In their previous video, Broadway Husbands Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna shared that they found their egg donor. In this video, the dads-to-be discuss their embryo creation process. And - spoiler alert - there are now frozen Hanna-Shuford embryos, and the husbands are ready for their next step: finding a gestational carrier.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

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.

Photo credit: Tiffany Burke, Follow Your Art Photography.

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."

And for their next act? Fatherhood.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

9-Year-Old Girl Starts Successful Jewelry Line With Help of Gay Dads

Riley Petersen is 9 (!) and already a Creative Director, with the help of her gay dads

Riley Kinnane-Petersen is 9 years old, enjoys playing tennis, being with friends, has a pet cat, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two dads, John Petersen and William Kinnane. She's also the official Creative Director of a successful jewelry line she founded with the help of her dads. Two years ago, John even quit his day job to assist in the day-to-day operations of the jewelry company.

What began as a long road to adoption for William and John, has become a thriving creative business, and more importantly a family.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

FOLLOW OUR FAMILIES

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse