Gay Dad Life

Foster Dads Shed Selfishness, Gain a Family

Names: Jeffrey Champ and Hector Marcano Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Relationship Status:

Civil union. We had a beautiful ceremony on February 10, 2006 that my husband and I put together on our own. We created everything from the table settings, gift bags, buffet choices, wedding arch, and flower arrangements.

Occupations: Jeffrey is a customer service center supervisor for a bank; Hector works at one of Amazon's distribution centers as a packer.

How Many Kids Do You Have? One 11-year-old son.

What's His Name? Dwele' Jorge. Dwele' was his birth name given to him by his birth parents. Jorge is Hector's father's first name. His last name, Champ, is my last name. We nicknamed him DJ, for short.

What Does He Call You? Jeffrey is called “Daddy." Hector is "Papi."


Tell us about your path to parenthood. Did you consider other options? My husband has a son from his straight marriage. I didn't have any children. We decided to share our lives with a foster care child to give him a life we never had as kids.

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We had to go through a long, extensive "parenting" course with the state of CT in order to be certified as foster parents. This included an extensive background check: criminal, financial, and family history. Along with an FBI background check involving being fingerprinted. There was also developmental delays and physical scarring as a result of infant surgery that caused concern. Because of these issues it was difficult for our boy to be adopted. We did it without hesitation knowing it would require a lot of visits to doctors and surgeons.

How has your life changed since you became a father? Our lives have changed enormously. Before the placement of our son, the two of us were very selfish. Everything was always about us. We had a one bedroom apartment. We spent our money on clothes and vacations for the two of us. Now, with our boy in our lives, we put all our focus, time and attention on him. Especially since he is special needs with developmental delays and ADHD. We try our best to give him the life he would not have gotten had he stayed in foster care. We take him on vacations, day trips, weekend getaways. We do everything with and for him. We love the life he has given us!

Was there ever a moment that you or Bland experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? In the beginning, when our boy was still 18-19 months old I had a lot of doubt about being a dad. I was always afraid to be firm and not a push over. As time went on and he got older, I learned the importance of being his dad and not just his friend. I taught him he can speak to me about anything, which he does. Hopefully that'll continue into his upcoming teenage years!

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? When we lived in Connecticut we would get funny looks from ignorant people trying to figure out who is the dad. Living in Pennsylvania now, I expected it would be worse, but it's not as bad. We used to call people out on their staring and ask them directly if they'd like to buy a picture. As a picture would last longer!

Did you always want kids? If you did not always want kids, what happened to change your mind? My husband changed my mind. It started by researching kids shown for adoption at a display in our local mall. He would talk to me about the fun things we would miss out on. He was absolutely right: I can't imagine my life without our son!

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? In 5-10 years our boy will be 16-21 yrs old. We will still all be together as a family teaching him how to live on his own as an adult; and encouraging him to pursue a furthered education or sustainable career. As an adult with delays he will still need our guidance.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? We do everything we can to give our boy the good life he deserves. Our family is stronger than many straight families because we all know we have each other's backs no matter what!

***Fill out this short survey for the opportunity to be featured in an upcoming family profile!**


Check Out More Family Profiles Below!

After a Harrowing Delivery, Barry's Bootcamp CEO Welcomes Home a Baby Boy

Afraid of Adopting from Foster Care? These Dads Say Don't Be

A Dad Finds Hope After a Failed Adoption

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Wonders: What Will the 'Roaring Twenties' Bring?

Jim Joseph says he's looking forward to "moving forward in 2020" and in the decade to come!

The Roaring Twenties are upon us, and with the new decade comes great anticipation.

I remember as a kid that whenever a new decade came, it felt like "out with the old and in with the new." It seemed like pop culture and the way of doing things suddenly shifted. Witness 1979 into 1980 and the dawn of a new era in music, fashion, entertainment, and culture. Same with 1989 into 1990. Bam!

As I got older and started my own journey of growth, I started tracking decades by the milestones I had hit during each of the ten-year increments.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Tell Us Their Parenting Goals for 2020

Some are hoping to expand their families — others are hoping to keep the members they already have alive!

We asked our community on Instagram what their parenting goals were for 2020. Here are some of their responses.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

10 Ways Gay Dads Inspired Us in 2019

No two gay parents have the same family creation story, but they still have one thing in common — they inspire us.

Every week, we bring you the stories of gay men and their families. While no two of these stories are the same, one thing they have in common is this — they inspire us. Check out 10 (out of the MANY!) ways gay dads moved us in 2019!

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Interested in Surrogacy? Check Out These Bay Area Events This Weekend

If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, two major events are happening that will be of interest for dads-to-be and surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF)

If you're in San Francisco or the surrounding area, clear your calendar this weekend. Two events are happening simultaneously that are significant for dads-to-be AND surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF). For an outlines of both events, check out below.

Keep reading...
News

Gay Dads Show Up at Boston Event to Drown Out Anti-Trans Protesters

When Trystan Reese found out protesters were planning to show up to an event in Boston he was presenting at, he put out a call to his community for help — and gay dads showed up.

A couple months ago, Trystan Reese, a gay, trans dad based in Portland, Oregon, took to Instagram to share a moving, if incredibly concerning, experience. Reese, who works with Family Equality Council, was speaking at an event in Boston, and learned before his appearance that a group of protesters were planning to attend.

"As a trans person, I was terrified to be targeted by anti-LGBTQ people and experienced genuine fear for my own safety," Trystan wrote. In response, he did what many LGBTQ people would do in a similar situation — reach out to his community in Boston, and ask for their support. "And they came," he wrote. But it wasn't just anyone within the LGBTQ community that came to his defense, he emphasized — "you know who came? Gay men. Gay dads, to be exact. They came, ready to block people from coming in, ready to call building security, ready to protect me so I could lead my event. They did it without question and without reward. They did it because it was the right thing to do."

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse