Become a Gay Dad

Foster Care Family Concerned About Future with Trump

The last few months have left Matt Donnelly and Jeff St. Germain unsettled and worried about the future, especially as the inauguration looms.

Warwick residents and small business owners, Donnelly and St. Germain have been partners for 34 years. For the last nine, they’ve been a foster care family. They are currently raising two foster children, and their son Caleb was adopted out of the system.

“My son is black, our two foster children are Mexican,” Donnelly said. There was “vitriol, anger and overt racism during this election towards religion, towards people of color, towards ethnicity.” He feels his son will be at a disadvantage.

“We've elected this guy that has no internal sensors, someone who is brash, racist, misogynistic as he is, we have done a complete 180-degree turnaround, or worse” said Donnelly. “We had such a good run with President Obama.”

He is also worried about cuts to the supports they receive as foster parents. “Our foster children are already delayed. They receive a lot of special programming,” support that Donnelly thinks might be cut drastically under the Trump administration, a platform that undoes “all that's been done over the past eight years, from healthcare to his social platforms,” said Donnelly.

Changes in Medicaid will directly affect Donnelly and St. Germain's children, and as small business owners, they worry their own insurance could be affected as well.

Matt (left) and Jeff with Caleb, photo credit: Read McKendree

“Our children's health insurance will be affected, the support services that DHS can give us for support programs will be affected, even the stipend for foster care could be affected,” he said. “Being self-employed, we stand to lose our health insurance. It's ridiculously expensive already, and it's just the two of us because the kids are covered by the state, and it's more than our mortgage.”

“We have a lot of friends who fall into the same categories we do,” he said. “Some of them are in a same-sex marriage, they have adopted children or they are in an interracial marriage and have natural children.”

He thinks if marriage equality laws are returned to being on a state-by-state basis, there will be “only so many places we could go,” Donnelly said. “They are talking in some states about dissolving same-sex marriages and removing the children from their parents. This is like going back to the 1890s.”

In addition to owning Little Falls Café in Pawtuxet Village, Donnelly, a registered nurse, owns Heart in Hand Massage Therapy, and St. Germain is a realtor. Saying that business was steady the last eight years, Donnelly notes, “Massage therapy is not a necessity,” and with “the economic plan that he's putting in place, people will have less disposable income, less money to spend. With the loss of the Affordable Care Act, 30 million people will lose health insurance. Most of my clients are self-pay, and when people lose disposable income, the first things that go are going out to eat and taking care of themselves." On the day after the election, Donnelly said the tone at the café was downbeat. “To see the number of people who came in that day after who were flabbergasted, who were in disbelief, there was a general sense of mourning, of immobility, people who could not believe this was actually happening.” He’s hoping people will rally, “This is where we are at. There should be more of an outcry.”

This article was originally published in the Warwick Beacon, by Jen Cowart.

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Surrogacy in the U.S. for International Dads

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy breaks down the process of surrogacy for gay men outside of the United States

Written by Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, who has been helping international gay men become dads for over two decades.

Becoming a gay dad through a surrogacy agency in the U.S. – when you live outside of the United States – can feel overwhelming. You may have questions such as: Why should I come all the way to the US for surrogacy? What do I need to know as an international intended parent? How do I get my baby home?

We spoke with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation who has been working with international gay parents for over two decades. Circle Surrogacy was founded by a gay dad and lawyer, and is the most successful surrogacy agency with a full legal team on staff who are experts working with international parents.

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Researching surrogacy but feel like it's all Ancient Greek to you? You're not alone! The surrogacy process is filled with jargon, so we've started this surrogacy glossary of commonly used terms every gay dad should know as he embarks on the surrogacy journey.
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Become a Gay Dad

Jewish Agency to Help Cover the Costs of Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."


Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

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A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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