Gay Dad Life

A Divorced Dad-to-Be Wonders About the Future

"Becoming a father has always been the most important thing to me," said Michael, an expectant dad. His first child, a little girl, is due via surrogacy in February next year, and he'll be raising her on his own as a single dad. Not the most conventional way to create a family, he admits. (But is there ever really a "conventional" way when you're a gay dad?) Becoming a father has been his dream since he can remember, regardless of whether he gets to share the journey or not. And his journey has been filled with heartbreak, loss and perseverance. As we countdown the weeks till February, here's Michael's story.

Michael didn't come out till he was 25. One of the reasons he waited so long, he says, is that he didn't think having a family was possible as a gay man. When he decided to come out it was partly because he realized he could be both a gay man and a dad. Michael was previously married to a man who, at least initially, shared his desire to become a father. Together they discovered an egg donor and gestational surrogacy agency called Forward Fertility in Madison, Wisconsin, where Michael still lives, and connected with Christie Olsen, the founder.

"She has been amazing," said Michael. "Telling me what to expect, giving me questions I didn't think to ask, being supportive when things went bad, keeping me on top of next steps, all more than I could have hoped for."

But unfortunately, and for reasons out of anyone's control, things did go bad. Michael and his ex-husband went through a failed egg donation, a successful egg donation, a failed transfer, and a miscarriage. Due to these experiences, they had to find money that they hadn't initially budgeted for. But it was the miscarriage that Michael really struggled with, and in hindsight wishes he'd told more people about the pregnancy so that he'd have had more people to help him through that difficult period.

During all this, Michael's marriage ended and he was at a crossroads as to whether he should continue.

"After the separation, I knew I still wanted to be a father," explained Michael. "I had one embryo left that was genetically mine, the surrogate was willing to try again, and after all the time, money, and mental energy I had already spent, I knew I would hate myself for not trying."

Michael is also an only child and in the past 5 years has lost his father and his stepmom. His mother is currently suffering from Parkinson's disease; he wants at least one of his parents to experience being a grandparent.

So he tried one last time with the embryo that was genetically his, and they were successful. His daughter is due in February 2018.

As February approaches, Michael has already begun his preparations for fatherhood. He's planning on taking two months paternity leave and his cousins have offered to stay with him for awhile to help out. Friends have already been calling dibs on babysitting duties as well.

"I really am lucky with how supportive everyone has been," said Michael. "I had been hesitant and awkward with telling people because not everyone knew about the divorce and it's a lot to explain (apparently multiple coworkers didn't even know I was gay so that was one more thing to explain!) But everyone has been great."

Decorating the nursery has begun, baby shower has been thrown, and it's all started to become a little more real.

"I'm nervous about being a single dad. I'm nervous about not knowing enough about girls. I'm nervous that I'm going to stay single forever."

But beside the nerves, he's overwhelmingly excited.

"[I can't wait] for when she's old enough to play with. I'm just a big kid myself!"

For now, Michael is hesitant of the dating scene as he's not sure how to tell potential dates that he's going to be a dad in a few months and his kid is going to be his number one priority. He doesn't feel as though it's a fair thing to ask of a prospective partner: to automatically be number two. But in the future, his main prerequisite for a partner is someone who loves his daughter as much as he loves Michael.

To all the other single gay men considering going it on their own, Michael says, "If that's what you really want, then go for it! There are great people in your life ready to be there for you. Take it one step at a time. There will be setbacks. Take a moment to pick yourself back up, concentrate on that one next step, and move forward."

From setbacks and heartaches, to eager anticipation and a world about to change, Michael is as ready as he'll ever be. We're sure he's going to be a wonderful dad!

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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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Tom Bourdon asks gay dads how celebrating Valentine's Day has changed for them since kids came into their life

Life changes so much when you become a parent, so I thought I'd ask some parents how Valentine's Day compares - before kids and after. Watch the video to hear what they had to say.

Watch the video:

We'd love to know how your Valentine's Days have changed since having kids! Let us know in the comments.

Gay Dad Life

Why Date Night Is So Important this Valentine's Day

When you're a parent, time alone with your significant other isn't a luxury — it's a necessity.

Even before the morning sunlight — and my eyelids — have lifted, I'm reminded that I'm somebody's father. It's usually around 5:40am when my 8-year old son Maxwell pokes his head into our room shouting "cock-a-doodle-doo" at the top of his lungs. He's usually wearing an adorably comfy onesie, a look he thankfully refuses to retire. His rooster call is followed up with strict demands in quick succession:

"Warm milk!"

"Turn on the lights."

"Where's your phone?"

"Put on Nick Jr."

"Feed me yogurt while I play Fortnite!" (Note: we don't… well… anymore.)

This Groundhog Day routine follows us as we pick out his clothes for the day —"Comfy camouflage t-shirt and sweat pants!" he insists (shoot me now). We then make him breakfast, prepare his packed lunch and then make sure his completed homework is in his schoolbag.

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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.

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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.

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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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I hope this becomes the norm that we regularly see brand advertising featuring gay dads. And I hope it becomes so much the norm that I don't feel compelled to write about it anymore!

We're getting there, little by little.

Mega-brand AT&T just released a short video/commercial that features two protective dads making sure that their babysitter is equipped to take care of their children. What strikes me most about this spot is the normalcy. These are simply two normal parents, regardless of gender, who are making sure their children will be properly watched. No stereotypes, no big messaging, no big deal. Just two men being protective parents.

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