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Do You Support Paid Paternity Leave for Dads? Sign the Pledge!

Dove Men+Care are is giving away $1 million to dads who didn't get meaningful paid paternity leave! Check to see if you're eligible, and sign the pledge!

For our community of gay dads and dads-to-be, one of the most (if not the most) exceptional times in our parenthood journey is the moment when we become a dad; when a child is placed in our arms or in our care. Those first few weeks are most meaningfully spent bonding, caring and getting to know our child, as they get to know us, too. And this should be a time where other distractions – financial and employment security – don't supersede those other experiences. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of dads in America, they do.


We're talking about the importance of paid parental leave. Only 15 percent of American companies offer paid paternity leave to all employees. And Dove Men+Care is fighting to change this.

Today, we're excited to help Dove Men+Care launch their Pledge for Paternity Leave, a call for dads, allies and business leaders to pledge their support for paid leave.

Along with Dove Men+Care, we're asking our community to support every dad's right to paid paternity leave by signing this pledge – because when dads take leave, it benefits ALL families, workplaces and communities.

Sign it and help effect change!

Hoping to garner at least 1 million signatures, Dove Men+Care has a larger goal of sparking policy change at the business and government level. The signatures will only serve as proof that dads are supported in their need for paid paternity leave and can feel safe when asking for and taking paid leave.

Dove Men+Care is also putting their money where their mouth is by launching the Paternity Leave Fund, a $1 million commitment, over the course of two years, to fund real dads who are not or were not able to take meaningful time off during one of the most important times in their life. They will be awarding new or expectant dads who do not currently have access to meaningful paid leave a chance to receive a $5,000 grant.* (If this is you, sign the petition and opt-in for updates to apply.)

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Meet dads Stephen and Tyler

"Our journey to fatherhood was amazing," said Stephen, husband to Tyler and dad to their adorable son. A close friend offered to be their surrogate and they were by each other's side for the entirety of the journey. "We are truly forever grateful to her; she is an angel to us!" To avoid going into debt during their journey to fatherhood, the dads had roommates to help cover the cost.

The first time Stephen and Tyler held their son, they were overwhelmed with love.

Sadly, neither dad received any paid leave. Stephen had to take non-paid leave and Tyler used vacation days to be able to have even two weeks off with their baby. After that they both returned to work. "With paternity leave we would have been able to stay home longer with our baby and really enjoyed forming that connection that is so important," said Tyler. "That first month with a baby is so special."

Meet dads Zack and Joseph

After 3 years of marriage, Zack and Joseph decided to being their fatherhood journey. They began working with an adoption agency in January 2018, and were matched with an incredible birth mother in March. On July 12, 2018, their son Oliver was born.

"There was such a feeling of anticipation as we were riding the elevator up to the hospital room where Oliver and his birthmother were," shared Zack. "We were both so excited to meet him."

"Holding him for the first time was an amazing and overwhelming experience emotionally," added Joseph.

Although the dads did receive some paid parental leave it was only for two weeks which they used whilst out of state waiting to bring Oliver home. Luckily, the husbands have opposite schedules so one of them was able to be home with Oliver at all times. "The issue with that was," said Zack, "we were hardly ever able to see one another."

Both dads are in agreement: meaningful paid parental leave would've meant tremendously to their family, and all dads. "Becoming a new parent is difficult and exhausting (and expensive!)... having that extra time to adjust to new parent life is invaluable."


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Join us and sign Dove Men+Care's #PaternityLeavePledge

* $5,000 grant application open to male legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older, whose employer offers no more than ten (10) days of paid paternity leave and are expecting a child as of date of entry, have a child who is no more than eight (8) months old as of date of entry, are in the process of adopting a child as of date of entry, or have adopted a child within eight (8) months of date of entry.

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Dennis McDonough and John Kihm have been together for over eight years and married since May 2015. Becoming dads was always part of their plan. In 2016, they became foster dads and during the following six months after becoming licensed, they cared for nine foster kids.

"We knew that we would be able to help children who were in need, children who were scared and had no where to go and no one to love them," shared Dennis. "We knew that somewhere along the process we would eventually have children who would need our love forever." Currently, the dads have four children, two of which they've adopted.

As this family has welcomed more children, helped reunite others with their biological families, and finalized two of their sons' adoptions, neither dad received any paid paternity leave.

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The Most Important Woman a Gay Man Will Ever Date

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy gives some tips and tricks for getting to know your surrogate once matched

It's time to fine tune your dating skills because you're about to enter into the most important courtship you'll encounter. And it all starts with the biggest first date of your life.

And it's with a woman.

This woman is your gestational carrier; the woman who will carry and care for your baby until she delivers this little bundle of joy right into your arms.

Matching with a gestational carrier – or surrogate – is one of the most exciting milestones in your journey to parenthood through surrogacy. However, it can also be the most nerve wracking. Chances are you've seen a profile about your potential surrogate match so you know a little bit about her and her family. But before you commit to this woman, you'll need to meet her first – either in person or via video. And this is one first meeting you've probably never prepared for!

Circle Surrogacy has been matching surrogates and gay dads for almost 25 years. Here are tried and true tips and tricks to getting to know your surrogate...and keeping the relationship alive during pregnancy and after birth!

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Antwon and Nate became dads through the foster care system. Nine months after becoming licensed, they received a call on a Tuesday, and two days later, their daughter moved in. "It was very quick," said Nate. "Honestly, it was more just shock and nervousness for me."

As new parents, Nate took unpaid leave for two weeks, before going back to work part-time. Antwon didn't receive any leave.

"It's definitely important to have time off to bond, but it's also important to be financially stable when you do it," said Antwon. "I don't think you should have to choose between staying financially afloat or showing your kid love... and I don't think anyone should have to make that choice."

Only 15% of dads in the U.S. have access to paid paternity leave. We want to change this.

Watch Nate and Antwon's video to find out how:

Sign the pledge: www.dovemencare.com/pledge

Like Antwon and Nate, we're helping Dove Men+Care advocate for paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads! Over the next three months, we will be sharing stories of gay dad families and their paternity leave experience. Our goal is to get 100,000 folks to sign the Paternity Leave Pledge.

Dove Men+Care has collected over 30,000 signatures on the Pledge for Paternity Leave in three short months, in a mission to champion and support new legislation for federally mandated paid leave laws in the U.S. With the conversation growing on Capitol Hill, Dove Men+Care will target key legislators to drive urgency behind paid paternity leave policy and provide a social proof in the form of real dad testimonials, expert research and signature support from families across the country.

Our goal is to help Dove Men+Care bring 100,000 signatures to key policymakers in Washington, D.C. for their Day of Action on the Hill, and drive urgency behind this issue.

If you believe *ALL* dads should receive paid paternity leave, sign the Paternity Leave Pledge.

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

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

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My husband, Phil, and I talked about having children since out first date over 11 years ago. Like many other gay dads, we waited to start the journey to become parents until we felt secure with our careers, finances, and home life. This meant we didn't start the partnering journey until 2016 when we were eight years into our relationship.

When we first met, I was completing my graduate studies in social work and subsequently started a career working in foster care and adoption. This made our decision to pursue foster care-adoption as our path to parenthood a fairly easy one. In fact, I can't recall us discussing other avenues to parenthood, but I'm sure we briefly discussed them before solidifying our decision to become foster parents.

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Guest post by Stephanie Haynes, the executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, Philadelphia Family Pride will hold their 10th Annual Family Matters Conference from 9am to 3:30pm for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their kids of all ages at the University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. The theme this year is "Telling Our Stories." Registration is now open!

In an interactive keynote, Anndee Hochman, author of the Philadelphia Inquirer's weekly "Parent Trip" column, will share highlights from her work as a journalist and memoirist. She'll invite conversation about the stories that shape us—what tales do we share? who does the telling? who is left out?—and how those stories, added up, are changing the world. Read her bio.

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The homestudy is the first step in the adoption process. In every state the homestudy is done a little differently, but all of them have the some combo of paperwork, trainings, and interviews. The homestudy can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to complete. Without it, you cannot adopt.

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