Gay Dad Family Stories

A Gay Teenager with a Challenging Past Finds a New Home, and Future, with Two Gay Dads

Sam suffered abuse at the hands of his birth family. But thanks to his adoptive dads, Adam and Josh, his future looks bright.

Being your children's most enthusiastic and loving cheerleader is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. To support, encourage, guide and to provide a safe loving environment where children can truly be themselves. And that's what Adam and Josh Blaylock are doing for their adopted 17-year-old son, Sam Blaylock.

Before meeting his dads, Sam experienced physical and emotional abuse from his birth family and relations. Once child services became involved, he was moved to and from the homes of different family members and a foster home, before finally coming to stay with Josh and Adam.

"After moving in with them I finally felt what a family actually meant," shared Sam.

Adam and Josh created a home environment of love, acceptance, and freedom to be his authentic self. But how did two Portland, Oregon, husbands in their early thirties become dads to a gay teenager? Although it wasn't necessarily part of the "plan," it's become abundantly clear that this was the family they were meant to have. Here's their story.


Adam and Josh at their wedding, July 2015

Both Adam and Josh came out to friends and families after their high school years. Adam, now 34 and a teacher, told his mom on a trip to New York City, while commemorating his 21st birthday. They celebrated by going to museums and Broadway shows.

"Shocking she didn't know already, right?" said Adam. Over dinner the truth came out, and Adam's mother didn't take it well. Adam never came out to his father and unfortunately no longer has any relationship with him because of his beliefs and how he expresses them.

Josh, 33 and a retail manager, came out to his sister on the way home from a Cher concert.

"So looking back, duh, I'm sure everyone knew," said Josh. "But growing up in an Evangelical household, I didn't know what the reaction to the truth was going to be." It would be another few years before he told his mom; Josh phoned her to tell her that he'd got a dog, and ended up saying how he'd moved in with his boyfriend Adam and he was gay. His mom's response was, "Well, you know how I feel about that," (which he didn't) and they left it at that.

From left to right: Adam, Sam and Josh, en route to Disneyland, October 2015

"It has taken awhile, and a lot of work on both parts, but by including my family in our lives, they were able to see the love that we have for each other and for them," said Josh. "They were all at our wedding in 2015, where Adam took my family's last name." Adam feels welcome in Josh's family and they couldn't be happier with their relationship.

When the husbands began thinking about children, Josh and Adam imagined they'd foster or adopt a younger child. "I am teacher, so I have seen first-hand how many children there are out there who need loving homes," said Adam. But when a friend of theirs who works with LGBTQ youth reached out to them and asked if they would temporarily foster a teenager while DHS found a permanent placement, they said yes.

Sam first came to live with his dads when he was 14 years old and after a very traumatic childhood that stretched into his teen years. He suffered abuse from his family and relations, both physical and mental, and then was sexually assaulted in a foster home where he lived temporarily. (Read Sam's story, in his own words, here.) Sam struggled with his sexuality, which was also a source of contention for his family who did not accept who he was or how he chose to express himself. Finally, it lead to child services collecting him from school one day, and taking him to stay with Josh and Adam.

At a friend's wedding, Utah, September 2017

"I felt at home the second I walked into their house," remembered Sam. "I felt a strong connection, and felt like I was in the wrong family for the past 14 years and now have found my people. My true family."

"We knew we could be a loving permanent home for Sam," added Josh. It took another two and a half years of court dates and working with child services, and the process itself was challenging and emotional. "It's very awkward and heartbreaking to sit in the courtroom supporting your kid while his mother is there, obviously caring about her child but not able to provide a safe environment for him," said Adam. "Sam loves his biological family, even though they are not supportive of his sexuality or that the state got involved, and we fully support contact with them as long as it is safe and he is in a stable mental state to see them."

On January 8, 2018, the husbands finalized Sam's adoption.

Adoption day, January 8, 2018

Since becoming dads, Adam and Josh's priorities have changed considerably. They dove head-first into parenting, so never had time to doubt. But even though the path was challenging, they know Sam has a bright future; they know they made the right choice.

"Having two dads is amazing," said Sam who now lives as an out and proud teen. "I never have to worry about anything when it comes to being gay. They understand it all. I never feel judged and can be as weird and as expressive as I want."

Adam and Josh have learned so much about themselves by helping Sam along his way. "We never would have even thought about coming out as teenagers, but Sam is undeniably himself, exploring drag and everything gay," said Adam. "We had always lived very heteronormative lives, but now we have learned to be very proud of our sexuality and family!"

Portland Pride June 2018

Through his safe and supportive family life, Sam has begun to really explore drag. "It started with just makeup, but then I wanted to dress up for pride 2017 and Adam helped me make my cute little tutu," explained Sam. "We were joking around and how it looked like Tinkerbell and thus came my drag name, Twinkerbell." Sam describes drag as being his number one outlet of coping and seeing the beauty in life.

And even though Sam will soon be off to college and they will become empty nesters, Adam and Josh will forever be his dads, and biggest cheerleaders.

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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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