Gay Dad Family Stories

This Single Gay Dad and Foster Care Advocate Was Featured on the 'Today Show'

During Foster Care Awareness Month, Eric spoke about the importance of the foster care system on the Today Show with Jenna and Savannah.

Like many dads we feature on Gays With Kids, Philadelphia resident Eric Johnson always knew he wanted to be a father. His journey began in 2015 right after his relationship of five years ended. Although he didn't want to go through the process alone, Eric knew that this was his time, and after a few close to the heart conversations with close friends and family, he decided to take a leap of faith.


Eric worked for an early childhood education program that was fortuitously located in the same office as a foster care agency. Sitting in his office one day, Eric shared a revelation with his co-worker. "I said, I want to become a foster parent," Eric told Good Morning America in an interview earlier this year. "And my friend, my colleague, who was sitting next to me said 'talk to the lady behind you,' and I said 'behind me?' And she said, 'yeah, behind you.' So I turned around and asked and three people stood up and said here, we got one!" In December 2015, Eric began his foster parenting process.

After three months of attending certification courses, Eric became a certified Resource Foster Parent in March 2016. After a few months of not receiving any calls regarding children, his first foster child came in August. "It was a 3-day-old baby boy named Noah," shared Eric. "He was the most precious baby ever." Noah was only with Eric for two weeks until he was reunified with his birth family. Eric began to feel hopeless about ever becoming a dad. Then on December 8, 2016, 3-year-old Edward and 1-year-old Sincere, arrived. The young brothers had been in a few different foster homes over the past year. Although Eric had only been looking to foster one child at a time, the agency was reluctant to separate Edward and Sincere, as was Eric, so he agreed.

At first, it was a bit of an adjustment for everyone. "The first few days were challenging as they cried the first week they were with me," said Eric. "I had to literally sleep on the floor in their room in order for them to go to sleep." But gradually over the time the family adjusted and began to form an amazing bond. "As the months went on, the boys became more comfortable with their surroundings as I began to introduce them to people," explained Eric. "They were enrolled in school and met a lot of friends." Eric was able to share his love of travel with his son, taking them to NYC, Tampa, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Ocean City and Las Vegas.

Fostering Edward and Sincere, changed Eric in a profound way as well. "It has changed in a lot of ways that I only could have dreamed of. Since the boys have entered my life, I work a lot less and not be as stressed out from the challenges that come with it," he shared. "I believe that my kids taught me the power of understanding and patience. That we all have the ability to change for the better and how we can be more selfless and less selfish."

How fostering helped 1 man realize his dream of fatherhood

As time went on, the parental rights were terminated and Eric was given the opportunity to pursue adoption, and on February 27, 2019, Eric, Edward and Sincere, became a forever family of three. "The first day they walked through my door, was the day I knew they were going to be here forever," said Eric. "It was the best day of our lives. Not my life, our lives, because we are going to be together forever."

Throughout the Johnson's family journey, they have been on local news to discuss foster parenting and adoption, and for Foster Care Awareness Month they were featured on the Today Show with Jenna and Savannah.

"I love being a dad and the joy that my boys have everyday knowing that they have someone to love them unconditionally."

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Love, Kids, and a Sixteenth Century French Château

A 400-year-old castle provides a charming backdrop to this modern family's life.

Ready to be enamored and exhausted? Meet Papá, Daddy, and their three lovable boys. This typical family's day-to-day is probably the closest we can get to a literal fairy tale, sans the leather-bound book. Their lives revolve around work, school, Wednesday soccer practices, and maintaining the sixteenth century French château they call home.

Yes, a 400-something-year-old castle is the backdrop to this modern family's life. The husbands acquired the château two years ago, and promptly moved in with their three newly-adopted sons to furnish the countless bedrooms and paint the walls rainbow with their own memories.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

The Inuit Custom Adoption Program Helped These Dads Form Their Family

After learning about the Inuit Custom Adoption Program from family, Keith and Kevin knew it was the way they wanted to become dads.

Keith Willey, 49, and his husband Kevin Kablutsiak, 42, who live in Ottawa, Canada, first met online in 2010. The couple had their first date soon afterwards in a coffee house and, "haven't looked back since," said Keith. They married on May 22nd, 2016.

Keith, who works as a Policy Advisor with the Canadian Federal Government, and Kevin, who works as the Director of Communications with the Canadian National Inuit Organization (ITK), always knew they wanted kids together, and talked about it early on in their relationship. Still, as gay men, they weren't sure that option would ever be available to them.

"I grew up in the UK in the 1970s so I assumed it would be impossible to have children," said Keith. "I always assumed that I would have to lead a life sort of in the shadows and in secret. Attitudes were so different in the 70s to how they are now that I simply believe that we thought it would be impossible to have a child."

The option materialized for the couple, however, when Kevin's sister, pregnant at the time, approached the two men about adopting her baby through the Inuit adoption process. They knew they couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"Kevin is Inuk and adoption, particularly inter-family adoption, is common in Inuit culture," said Keith.

The Inuit Custom Adoption Process was originally used in the small Inuit societies in the arctic, Kevin explained. It's primarily (though not exclusively) intended as a path for adoption within families. The process is legally recognized by the Canadian legal system.

As Kevin went on to explain, Inuit custom adoption was traditional used to support survival within, what were until quite recently, people living a nomadic lifestyle. It is, in essence, a deeply loving and selfless tradition of giving the gift of life to a carefully selected couple, most often with the guidance of elders (usually the matriarch within a family). If a couple couldn't conceive, for instance, others would sometimes offer their help. Similarly, if a couple lost a child, the grieving parents might be given a baby to help ease the ache of their loss. While most Inuit parents have zero intention of custom adopting their children to other families, adoption continues to be an established method in Inuit regions.

Through this process, and with everyone's agreement, the two men legally adopted Kevin's sister and her husband's child from birth. They named her Abbie. "Kevin's sister and her husband came to stay with us in Ottawa prior to the birth so Abbie was in our care from the moment she was born," said Keith. "She got to come home with us the day after the birth with the legal process taking around 11 months to complete from start to finish."


As far as their parenting styles, the couple say they've drawn on each of their pasts. "Both Kevin and I had somewhat difficult childhoods and have spent a lot of time working through and dealing with childhood trauma," Keith said. "As a result, we are better parents and we continue to look after ourselves and each other as we continue to grow in parenthood."

Though the couple come from different cultures, they said they've had no difficulty developing a parenting approach that works for them both. "I don't think either of us raise Abbie in the same parenting style that we experienced," Keith said, "We both talked and agreed on our approach before Abbie was born and we work well together as a parenting couple."

The result is a parenting style that incorporates some elements of both of their backgrounds, Keith said. "Inuit culture tends to shower children in love and we certainly do that," said Kevin. From English-style parenting, the couple have also borrowed the tendency of English parents to be "pretty obsessive," Keith said, about routines, such as scheduling meals, naps and bedtimes.

Though life was good before Abbie joined the family, "now it's fantastic!" Keith said. "I feel like being a parent was what I was put on this earth to be." Because neither man ever expected to become fathers, moreover, both say they look at parenthood as a privilege rather than a right — a helpful perspective they suggest to other gay men considering fatherhood. "Parenthood is an amazing gift," Keith said, "But remember it's about them, not you — and they deserve the best start in life we can give them."

Though fatherhood came to them somewhat unexpectedly, Keith and Kevin say they couldn't be happier with the way things turned out. "When I reflect on our life together, and where we both came from, it is incredible to me that we are now married, content, and parents to our wonderful panik," Keith said, using the Inuktitut word for daughter. "We are totally blessed."


Gay Dad Family Stories

This Family Is 'Flying High' with Acceptance

Dads Kai and Nir, who work as flight service managers, recently spoke to their son's class — in full uniform of course.

Meet Daddy Kai, Daddy Nir, and their two beautiful kids! These loving fathers are flight service managers who live in Israel, but are often busy flying around the world. When they were recently invited to their son's preschool to talk about their careers, they knew they had to come in full uniform and — of course — bring some safety equipment. Daddy Kai shared the experience with us.

"The kids are already used to our son having two dads and a mom. We are the only 'queer' family in his preschool and everybody, parents and children, are really accepting," says Kai. "The children also call us like our sons call us: 'Daddy Kai and Daddy Nir'."

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Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

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4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

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Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

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10 of Our Most Popular Posts Featuring Single Gay Dads

Happy Single Parent's Day! To celebrate, we rounded up some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads.

Did you know March 21st is Single Parents Day? Well now you do, and you should mark the occasion by checking out our round up of some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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