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

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

Gay Dad Life

"Fridays with Fitz": A New Kid's Book Based Upon the Son of These Two Dads

Tracey Wimperly, author of the new children's book, said she hopes to give a more honest portrayal of the role grandparents play in the lives of children.

Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

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Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

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"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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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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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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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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