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

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

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Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Single Gay Dad and the City

When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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