Foster/Foster-Adopt

These Gay Foster Dads Are Happy Helping Other Families Succeed

Though they hope to eventually adopt and become a "forever family," foster dads Trey and Philip are happy to play a role in reunifying other families.

"We always knew we wanted to adopt since there are so many children already in the world," explained Trey on why he and his fiancé Philip decided on their path of foster-adopt to become dads. "We settled on foster care as the route to adoption due to my career and our passion for helping the most vulnerable children."


Trey, a Family Outreach Specialist (and Gays With Kids Foster Expert), and Philip, a V.P. and Business Manager for a remodeling contractor, met nearly 10 years ago on Match.com. They talked for about a month before they had their first date in a Seattle bar. The couple are now engaged and their wedding date is set for September 14, 2018.

Trey (left) and Philip

Trey is a social worker and began his career as a foster care and adoption specialist at Amara, a not-for-profit foster and adoption organization, working directly with children and families. After nearly five years in that role, Trey was ready to transition to a new role, one that would provide more separation between direct service work and his own fostering experience as he and Philip prepared to become a foster parents themselves. About two years ago, Trey became the Family Outreach Specialist at Amara.

Since they became licensed foster parents, they've cared for two children. In July 2016, Philip and Trey became foster dads to a 15-month old boy. It was only a 10-day placement before the child moved to a relative placement. In January 2017, Philip and Trey became foster dads again to a baby boy.

"He was a 4-month old baby that we had with us for about three months," shared Trey. "I got a call on my way home from work that he was in the state office and needed a foster home."

Philip and Trey didn't receive much more information than that when they took the boy home, but they found out the next day that he was going to reunify with his parent.

Reunification is something foster parents have to consider when they decide to partake in the foster dad journey. It can be heartbreaking, but it can also be incredibly rewarding knowing that as a foster parent your role helped another family succeed.

"We began texting and interacting with his parents from the beginning of the placement," said Trey. "His parents were great and we feel honored to have helped them out while they worked to better themselves and their situation to be successful parents."

While Philip and Trey are not in a position to do another temporary placement right now due to it being a logistical challenge (taking time off work, enrolling temporarily in daycare, etc.) they are open to a longer-term placement even if it is known that reunification was a definite further down the road.

"Even though we have end goals of adoption, we enjoy the fostering process and support reunification despite the emotional impact on us."

Today they just have one foster child in their care, the same boy who they first had as a 10-day placement in July 2016. He returned to their care in January 2017, at 20-months old, and they recently celebrated his third birthday.

By being dads, the two men have learned plenty about themselves and each other. Gone are the days of spontaneous Happy Hour drinks, and trips away. Now everything requires a lot more planning. One of the biggest takeaways Trey has discovered is to really enjoy living in the moment.

"Children are stress-free and can be content doing a mundane task for several minutes; something I wished I could do! I've learned to have more patience, because well....kids lol."

One day the two dads hope to adopt and become a forever family.

"Part of our motivation in becoming foster parents was to eventually create a forever family."

In the meantime, Daddy Philip and Papa Trey are being the best foster dads they know how to be. Providing a loving and stable home for kids, whether they only stay temporarily, or if they are meant to stay forever, as part of Trey and Philip's forever family.

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Change the World

How "Easy" Is It, Really, for Gay Men to Become Dads?

It's never been easier for gay men to become dads, but a recent Washington Post article, which includes interviews with four gay parents, gives voice to some of the challenges that persist.

In recent weeks, with reports like this one in eWire.News, and famous gay dads gracing the cover of Parents Magazine for the first time, a perception is growing that it's now "easy" for gay men to be dads now. To examine this idea, Washington Post recently interviewed four gay men who have become fathers at some point in the past 10 years to examine their experiences. What they found is that, yes, it's easier than ever before for gay men to become dads. But we still face many more barriers than our straight counterparts.

None of these barriers will be news to any gay man who has become a father. But it's helpful that major publications like the Washington Post are now starting to recognize and give voice to them.

The first "finding" from their conversations is that gay men need more "money in the bank" that straight people. With the exception of adoption through foster care, "the financial costs are often tantamount to buying a car or even a house outright," the author notes.

The article also notes that gay men--and fathers in general--are given less paternity leave in the United States on average than many other countries. One of the dads interviewed for the piece, who adopted his sone through foster care, said he could only afford to take two weeks of paternity leave, which was " too short," he said. His son "struggled to see me as the paternal figure — I was just the guy who went to work and came home from work later. That's a struggle for most dads whether gay or straight — but I wish I had gotten more time just to bond with him."

Gay dads also must do more "emotional heavy lifting," the author notes, noting that many attend therapy for many months before taking the plunge. "We don't come to parenting by accident," another dad interviewed in the piece said. "We come to it by way of a lot of money, and with great intentionality. That is the commonality among gay dads with children."

A final common experience to many of the gay dads interviewed in the piece were annoyances dealing with strangers. "The thing that has been the most difficult are strangers who don't understand," one of the dads said. "They see us out with our son and we don't fit into their little box of what a family looks like. I've been asked whether Jeffrey and I mixed our sperm together in a cup. And that's rude, but as our son gets older, he is being shaped by a certain narrative about who he is."

Read the whole article here.

Sponsored

"A New Adventure": Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Grew in January!

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

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats dads!

We are also excited to announce that this post is brought to you by Choice Network in Ohio. Choice Network is a national leader in LGBTQ adoption. They have a goal of 50% of their families being created with LGBTQ people. "It is our core value that love makes a family." We're thrilled to be partnering with Choice Network to offer our congrats to dads whose families grew this month!

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Adoption for These Dads Was Like a "Rollercoaster" But Well Worth the Ride

After multiple scam attempts, bizarre leads, and a birth mom's change of heart, Jason and Alex finally became dads.

Photo credit: Dale Stine

Every gay man who pursues fatherhood fights for their right to become a dad. They've had to keep going even when at times it's seemed hopeless. Jason Hunt-Suarez and Alex Suarez's story is no different. They had their hearts set on adoption; overcame multiple scams, some very bizarre leads, a birth mother's change of heart at the 11th hour, their adoption agency going bankrupt, and tens of thousands of dollars lost along the way. But after a long, turbulent, and heart-wrenching three-year-long journey, it was all worth it.

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Change the World

Breaking with Older Generations,  Most LGBTQ Millenials Say They Want Kids

According to new research by the Family Equality Council, the number of LGBTQ parents is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years

According to the LGBTQ Family Building Survey, recently released by the Family Equality Council, the majority of young LGBTQ say they are interested in becoming parent. This marks a dramatic shift when compared with the attitudes of older generations.

Among the survey's findings:

  • 63% of LGBTQ Millennials (aged 18-35) are considering expanding their families, either becoming parents for the first time, or by having more children
  • 48% of LGBTQ Millennials are actively planning to grow their families, compared to 55% of non-LGBTQ Millennials, a gap that has narrowed significantly in comparison to older generations
  • 63% of LGBTQ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to become parents, a significant shift away from older generations of LGBTQ parents for whom the majority of children were conceived through intercourse.

Despite the expected increase in LGBTQ parents, most providers, they note, "do not typically receive training about the unique needs of the LGBTQ community; forms and computer systems are not developed with LGBTQ families in mind; insurance policies are rarely created to meet the needs of LGBTQ family building; and discrimination against LGBTQ prospective parents by agencies and providers remains widespread."

The Family Equality Council goes on to recommend that family building providers "from reproductive endocrinologists and obstetricians to neonatal social workers, family law practitioners, and child welfare workers" begin preparing now to welcome future LGBTQ parents.

Read the full report here.

Change the World

Gay Dads More 'Equitable' in Parenting Roles Than Straight Dads, Says New Study

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,

A new study conducted by Éric Feugé from the Université du Québec à Montréal observed 46 families, made up of 92 gay dads and their 46 children over a period of seven years.

The study, which Feugé says is the first of its kind, analyzed the roles gay dads take in raising their kids and found the way they parent is 'very equitable'.

'We learned that gay fathers' sharing of tasks is very equitable,' the researcher told the Montreal Gazette, who added there was a "high degree of engagement" by both gay dads in all types of parental roles. "What's really interesting is that they don't conform to roles of conventional fathers. They were able to redefine and propose new models of cultural notions of paternity and masculinity."

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,' the author said.

Read the full review of the research here.

Change the World

Don't F*ck With This F*g

After a homophobic encounter on the subway, BJ questions what the right response is, in an era of increasing vocal rightwing activists

On February 1, 2019, Frank and I went out on a date night, something we haven't done in a while. Our son was sleeping over at his grandparents for the night and we made plans with our friends to meet them for dinner downtown. We decided to save some money and take the subway into town instead of taking a taxi.

We boarded the subway and sat down opposite a couple, a man and woman. I noticed they looked at us as we boarded the train and began whispering to each other. Frank and I were talking to each other when I heard the man uttering under his breath, "F*$%ing faggots."

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Gay Dad Life

14 Gay Dad Families Show Their Love This Valentine's Day

These pics of gay dads smooching will warm the hearts of even the biggest V-Day skeptics

You might quietly (or loudly) oppose the commercialism and celebration of Valentine's Day, but let's just take a moment and rejoice in these beautiful signs of affection, shared between 14 awesome two-dad families. Cynicism gone? Good.

Happy Valentine's Day, dads! We hope you have a lovely day with your kids, your significant other, and / or friends. Because who doesn't love love!?!

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