Gay Uncles

Happy 'Guncles' Day! Have You Thanked the Gay Uncle in Your Life?

To celebrate the important role gay men play in the lives of their nieces and nephews, check out these adorable pics below!

Two years ago, on August 14, the Internet lit up with the hashtag #GayUnclesDay, accompanied by countless adorable pictures of gay men beaming for the camera alongside their nieces and nephews. The social media sensation was all in good fun, of course, and we're supportive of any holiday that leads Olympic bobsledder Simon Dunn to post this picture on his Instagram, but it's worth noting that not every gay uncle felt celebrated that day:

"If only I was allowed to have a relationship with my either of my sister's kids," said Tristan Michel Sauvageau last year, a gay man with a large list of friends on Facebook. "I bet it's nice being a gay uncle. I guess I'll never know."

For many gay men, National Gay Uncles Day was just another silly social media antic. But for others like Tristan, the hashtag contained a message that was at best aspirational and at worst a reminder of how far we have yet to go. So, in an effort to remind the world of the wonderful, important and inspiring influence gay men can have on children, we proudly celebrate this made-up holiday with pictures of these "guncles" and their nieces and nephews.

Luis Lemec Morales, Santa Marta, Colombia

Luis has one 4-year-old nephew whom he's been close with since he was born. Luis' nephew always greets him with an enthusiastic shout and a big hug. They have a lot of fun together.

"The best part of being an uncle is to have my amazing nephew anytime I want and being able to give him back when he drains my energy," said Luis. "So it feels a little bit like having a kid without the 24 hours responsibility."

Luis's nephew has met his boyfriend and already knows more about drag queens than Luis did at his age. "He is just amazing and I hope to be a part of his life forever."

Alex Parsons, Austin, Texas

Alex not only adores being an "guncle" to niece Parker, but he also loves seeing how his brother and sister-in-law have taken so naturally to parenting. "Seeing two people come together so selflessly and immeasurably love someone as beautiful as Parker is the best part about being a 'guncle!'" shared Alex.

Coming from a Southern Baptist family, Alex feels as though not all his family understands him, but they love him all the same. As a "guncle" he hopes to set a foundation for Parker than she finds value in every human, no matter what. Although, watching her parents this past year makes him think that won't be an issue.

"I do want children someday," said Alex, talking about his own plans for fatherhood. "I know for a fact there is no greater act of love than choosing to bring someone into a family, and I will do that some day through adoption."

David Gardoni, Seattle, Washington

For David, one of the best parts of being a "guncle" has been watching his eleven nieces and nephews grow over the years. "They never stop to amaze me," said David. And, of course, being witness to the hilarious things the kids say and do.

David would love to have kids of his own, too, but wants to wait till he's a little older, possibly married, and financially stable. He thinks surrogacy would be the path he'd like to follow, but David wants to make sure that he can provide for his children because, as we all know, kids are expensive.

As a "guncle," David appreciates that he is able to give a different perspective to his nieces and nephews.

"The unique connection they have with me is that they know I am different and they are so fascinated by that," shared David. "I remember when I told a few of them that I have a boyfriend and they just had so many questions or they couldn't wait to meet the new guy in my life."

Brett David, Lubbock, Texas

Brett and his boyfriend Devin are proud "guncles" and can't wait to have their own kids one day. They're considering either surrogacy or adoption, just as long as they can share their love.

"Our connection with our niece and nephews is something that amazes us ... to show our love and how they love us as a couple."

Brett and David utilize their role as gay uncles to teach their nieces and nephews that LGBT relationships are not a negative thing, and to show how much love they have for one another.

Thomas Freeman, Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas is definitely the fun and energetic uncle! "The best part of being a "guncle" is getting the chance to get my niece and nephew all sugared up and spoil them with whatever they want because once the sugar hits they can slide back in with their parents."

Thomas grew up in a very conservative part of the country and leads a very different life to his niece and nephew. He feels as though it's his job to show them that there is a huge world filled with all kinds of people.

"I have a very different life from my niece and nephew; they live in the Deep South while Guncle Bubba lives in a more progressive city," shared Thomas. "The ability to hang out with them and expose them to people and words and sentiments they aren't seeing everyday is what makes our relationship one of mutual learning because I've lived where they do."

One day, Thomas would love his own tiny humans to wake him up too early on a Saturday. He and his partner Cody have spoken about becoming parents and are in agreement that adoption is their preferred path. "We think there are too many kids out there who need love to just keep our lives just between us," explained Thomas. "Between the two of us, Cody and I have the opportunity to raise the most amazingly caring humans. The thought of it makes me happy."

Trent Morrison, Salt Lake City, Utah

Trent has been a "guncle" since he was 7 years old, and has twenty eight of what he calls "nibblings" (nieces and nephews of siblings). The eldest is 20, and the youngest was born a little over a week ago.) His favorite part of being an "guncle" has been watching them grow and seeing their unique personalities shine through.

Since coming out, Trent has felt an extra obligation as his nibblings' "guncle."

"As a gay man, I'm able to provide a safe space for expression, creativity, and love," said Trent. "When I came out, I made a commitment to live authentically and create spaces for others to do the same--including my nibblings."

And does Trent want to be a dad himself? Yes! And with being part of such a large family, each sibling has had to start claiming names for all their some-day kids! Trent would like to adopt two kids (hopefully twins) when he's found a partner (married or committed) in about 5-10 years.

"Ever since I could remember, I've wanted to be a dad. For me, having kids is important because I see the impact and expansion of love creating a family can have."

George, Bucharest, Romania

George lives in Bucharest, Romania, and although he is unable to marry or adopt a child in his home country, he knows for sure that one day he will be a dad. At the moment he is content being a "guncle" to his one nephew.

"When I'm with my nephew I feel like I'm on a long break where I can relax; I can be playfully, protective and responsible."

Ryan Tristan Jin, New York City, New York

These gay uncles take their responsibility for offering an important and unique perspective to their siblings' kids seriously.

"We hope that by leading through example, our unique connection as uncles helps instill joy, confidence, kindness and inclusiveness as they grow to become the best version of themselves."

Josh and Ryan cannot wait to start a family. But for now, they're content experiencing the world together, learning more about one another, and being the best "guncles" they can be. "Josh and I are both lucky to have parents and family that love us unconditionally, and we want nothing more than to continue to pass that infinite love to our nieces and nephews," said Ryan.

Tyler Ziola, Grands Rapids, Michigan

Some of Tyler's favorite things to do as "guncle" is to take his niece and nephew to the park, the zoo, and is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Disney World! "I love to go out and experience new things through their eyes," he shared.

"Being an uncle brings out a different side of me," said Tyler. "I never really engaged with kids before, assuming I probably wouldn't have my own I guess, but these two littles have already shown and taught me more than I thought about myself, family, and relationships."

Tyler is planning a move to Atlanta soon but will still be an engaged "guncle."

In terms of planning his own future and potential path to fatherhood, he's undecided. "I've considered adoption and surrogacy, but it will depend on how my (yet-to-be-named, inquire within LOL) future husband and I feel. My family knows I'm hesitant and currently love spoiling my niece and nephew."

Topher McNeil, Sacramento, California

Topher, who is currently finishing his PhD, is an attentive "guncle" to his seven nieces and nephews. He loves spending time with them; hiking, going to the beach, riding rollercoasters, you name it! "There's always something my nieces and nephews want to try," said Topher.

Although Topher is no longer a practicing Mormon, he comes from a Mormon family, and he's making it a point to teach his nieces and nephews that it's okay for people to be gay and different. "I get to be their introduction to a completely new and more progressive world view."

Right now, he's a ways off from having kids, but Topher can't wait to be a dad. His preferred path would be to foster or foster-adopt so he give children in need a loving home.

"Coming from a very close family, I want to give another generation the same love and support I received from my family."

Tyler and Phil, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Phil and Tyler cannot wait to have their own kids! Being "guncles" has filled their world with happiness but creating their own family is something they're very excited about.

Phil has two nieces and one nephew, and Tyler is "guncle" to his goddaughter, and they both take their roles of the gay uncle seriously while still having a lot of fun with the kids.

The couple are engaged and are getting married on October 18th this year. A couple of years after the celebrations, they plan to look into the different paths to fatherhood as they're open to both surrogacy and adoption. The thing that they're most excited about?

"Someone for you to love and hold like no other, someone to live beyond you and to feel grateful for being in this world."

Grant Gilmour, Glasgow, Scotland

At only 22, it's hard for Grant to think definitively about a path to fatherhood but he knows that he wants to be a dad one day. For now, he take great pride and joy in being the godfather and "guncle" to his best friend's daughter. With her own biological dad not in the picture, Grant is one of the most significant male guardians she has.

"The best thing about being a "guncle" is being able to love and support such a young beautiful little girl with as much love as I got from my parents growing up."

Grant feels honored to get a chance as her "guncle" to educate her on how wonderfully diverse the world is and that she can grow up to be whoever she wants to be.

In terms of his own future, Grant would consider both surrogacy and adoption to help create one big diverse, loving family.

Wallace Pacheco, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wallace loves his nephew and feels like his big brother. Even though he's not biologically related to him (he's the nephew of his boyfriend), he's embraced his role as "guncle" and loves him like his own.

"The best part of being a "guncle" is that I can be completely myself without weird eyes looking at me."

Although Wallace would like to be a dad one day, he's concerned about how to become one. He's afraid that if he had kids with his partner, they might encounter prejudice in the future, or have a child with a woman. But, he believes he still has time to consider his options, and is also considering adoption. The first step for Wallace is to buy a home and get a good job.

CJ Oliver, Syracuse, New York

CJ is a music teacher and his favorite thing to do with his newborn niece is sing to her while he cuddles her close. "What makes it great is the song I sang to her the first day she was born, I sing now and she smiles knowing it me," CJ shared. He feels a very special bond as her "guncle" and can't wait for more moments like that as she gets older.

As the first gay male in his family, CJ feel like his connection with his niece will be unique.

"The reality of her being able to grow up with someone in the family who is gay, gives her a special understanding to the world around her and more tolerance," said CJ. "That this idea will be seen as normal and not as unusual; it's a beautiful gift to the world of acceptance and love."

CJ very much sees kids in his own future and can't wait for that dream to be realized, but in the meantime, he'll settle for his "kids" to be the students he teaches. "The care I am able to show them is just the same as when I someday will have my own family," said CJ "What I look forward to is when these two worlds will collide and become one."

Kevin and Adam Hillyer-McHugh, Tampa, Florida

Kevin and Adam adore being "guncles" to both a little brother and their nieces and a nephew. They love the laughs they have and even more so, the unconditional love they receive and give in return. enjoy the laughs they have with their kiddos the most. "Love is in their little hearts from the time they enter the world and nothing makes you feel more important than those little arms reaching out for you because you're all they need in that moment."

As "guncles," Kevin and Adam utilize this opportunity to also be gay role models.

"The most unique thing about our connection to our nieces and nephew as gay men is unknown to them entirely, but so deeply meaningful to us. They offer unconditional acceptance which is something not all in our community get to feel and yet so simply innate for a child to give."

The husbands would love kids of their own one day, but are currently struggling with how to create their family. An amazing and selfless sister has offered to donate her eggs so they're considering surrogacy but the attached expense currently seems insurmountable and frustrating. "But know that what is meant to be, will be and in the mean time we have amazing little guys and girls in our lives to love."

Cody Goehring, Dallas, Texas

Cody has one niece whom he loves seeing grow and spoil her without rules and consequences. "I get to leave the dirty work to her parents!" said Cody. "Not to mention the unconditional love that children give is just good for anyone's soul!"

Being gay hasn't influenced Cody's relationship with his niece as she sees him just as her uncle, no matter what. " I am blessed with a family that excepts me as who I am and that is all that matters," shared Cody.

One day, Cody would love to have his own kids but he's not ready for a few more years. At the moment, when he looks towards the future, he'd prefer to be in a relationship so they could raise their kids together, but he also knows his feelings could change. He's open to both adoption and surrogacy.

"I think kids are a great blessing to the world and I would love to have the connection that I have with my parents and I see my brother and his wife have with my niece."

Cole Jenkins and Brendan Talbot, Auckland, New Zealand

Cole and Brendan are getting married next year, and will then start looking into the different ways to create their own family, but for now, they're proud "guncles" to their nephews.

"Being "guncles' brings us so much joy and happiness. Our nephews are always so excited to see us which is the most amazing feeling in the world."

As "guncles," Cole and Brendan are teaching their nephews from a young age that love exists in many different forms. "To have them know that their Gungles are in a loving relationship together and be positive queer role models for them."

Family has always been important to the fiancés and raising and nurturing a child has always been a shared dream of theirs. When the times is right, they'll be excited to begin their own journey to fatherhood.

Mark Pincock, Salt Lake City, Utah

Mark has always wanted to be a dad. "During the time in my life when I was struggling the most with depression, anxiety and even battling suicidal ideation, it was the dream of having a family that gave me hope and kept me going." That dream seemed to be further complicated when Mark accepted his sexuality, but as he's gotten older, he's realized that being gay doesn't prevent him from creating his own family.

It may not happen in the way that he originally envisioned for himself, but Mark's still looking forward to one day having his own kids.

And in the meantime, Mark is getting tons of practice with his 24 nieces and nephews!

"Spending time with them gives me a glimpse into the joys - and frustrations - that comes with kids. I'm so glad I get to be their 'guncle.'"

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

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Happy Gay Uncles Day! Hug the 'Guncle' in Your Life Today

Yes, Gay Uncles Day is a silly, made up holiday — but underneath all the smiling photos of gay men with their nieces and nephews is an important message.

It all started three years ago in August: the Internet lit up with the hashtag #GayUnclesDay, accompanied by countless adorable pictures of gay men beaming for the camera alongside their nieces and nephews. And just like that, another fake holiday was born.

But National Gay Uncles Day is not just another silly social media antic — beneath all the smiling pictures is a message that is at best aspirational — from gay men who dream of parenthood but haven't been able to make it happen for themselves —and at worst, for the many gay men not allowed in the lives of their siblings' children, a reminder of how far we have yet to go.

So yes, it's a silly, made up holiday — but one we're more than happy to support. So a very happy Gay Uncles Day to us all!

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This Gay Uncle is on a Mission to Provide His Nieces and Nephews With as Much Culture as Possible

Mike Adank isn't a dad (yet!) but that isn't stopping him from introducing his nieces and nephews to all New York City has to offer.

Mike Adank, who lives in New York City, has been a "guncle" for 19 years to Dylan (19), Emma (17), Laura (12), Alex (8), Katie (6), and Lizzie (3). His Instagram account reveals him to be a fun uncle who thinks the world of his nieces and nephews, and someone eager to share with them his life and passions. He's attentive, enthusiastic, and, dare we say, probably the favorite uncle.

Last year for "Gay Uncles Day" he shared the post below on Instagram with his niece and nephew, with a caption that read: "who needs your own kids when you can just borrow your siblings'?!"

As much as Mike loves being an uncle, however, this message was a bit tongue and cheek: he's begun thinking about having his own family one day in the maybe not-so-distant future.

Mike is the manager of VIP guest experiences at Jujamcyn Theaters, a major Broadway landlord and producer. He lives and breathes Broadway, loves adventures and is a proud New Yorker.

Mike takes his status as a "guncle" seriously and has played a large role in his nieces and nephews lives since they were born. Although they live far away in Wisconsin, Mike travels back two or three times a year, and they make the most of their time together: hiking, camping, gossiping and eating. He also makes sure they see the annual summer musical in their hometown, and plans to give each of them a paid for ticket to New York upon their graduation from high school. "I want them to be well rounded and provide them with as much culture as possible," he said.

As a gay man, Mike also feels it's his responsibility to teach them about tolerance and respect. "Or at least demonstrate it and be an example of how successful you can be if you stay true to yourself and follow your dreams." Recently, he was an even prouder uncle when his niece stood up to a teacher who was allowing hate in the classroom.

Mike has been seeing someone whom he meet via Chappy for the past four months, and although everything is going very well, it's still too early to bring up the conversation of kids. But Mike has begun researching regardless as he's still open to being a single dad if he hasn't found someone who shares the same dream.

In terms of a choosing a path, Mike is keeping his options open even though he's very keen to become a foster dad."Fostering is at the top of my list," said Mike. "I love the idea of sharing my love and life with a child that may be experiencing some rough times, or may not have been as fortunate this far in their life. Everyone deserves to find that one person they can count on, look up to, learn from, and feel safe with, [when] they need it most." Ideally Mike would like to foster to adopt, but he'd also be happy just fostering those in need.

Becoming a dad doesn't come without some fear on Mike's part. And those fears are tied up with his sexuality. "I'm a little scared of them not liking me because I'm gay; I don't want them to feel short changed." But on the flip-side of his concerns, Mike knows that his sexuality could also be a real asset, and help him educate his children on the importance of compassion and love.

As Mike gets closer to celebrating an exciting milestone - the big 4-0 - which is still a couple of years away, he's getting more and more excited about fatherhood, but still wants to be young enough to have fun his kids. The goal is in 5 years time to not only be a fabulous guncle, but also a loving and doting dad. We're excited to watch this space!

Mike with his nephew Dylan

Change the World

11 Family Stories That Show the Depth of the Adoption Experience for Gay Men

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! To celebrate, we've curated some adoption stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience for gay men.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! And few people are more aware of the importance of lifting up and celebrating adoption in this country than the LGBTQ community. According to the Williams Institute, 21% of same-sex couples are raising adopted children compared to just 3% of different-sex couples. Despite the fact that we are a crucial part of the support system for children needing loving homes, we are currently facing an administration that is trying to make it legal for foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against us on the basis of religion.

To help celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, and demonstrate that religious beliefs should in never trump the ability for a loving LGBTQ family to welcome children into their home, we've rounded up several family stories that show the true depth and breath of the adoption experience — men who never planned to become dads, and woke up one day to find themselves responsible for little ones. Men who always wanted to become dads, and suffered through years of failed placements before finally making their dreams come true. Single men, who realized they were strong enough to adopt on their own. And men who adopted older children through the foster care system.

These are just a few of the inspiring stories of gay, bi and trans adoptive dads — we are literally sitting on a treasure trove of them. And, no doubt, there are countless more headed your way in the months to come.

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"We're Dads, the Greatest Thing We've Ever Been": Congrats to Gay Men Whose Families Recently Grew!

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 to the dads whose families grew this month!

Congratulations to dads Ryan and Sebastian on the birth of their son, Máximo!!

Ryan and Sebastian's path to fatherhood was through surrogacy and their journey took nearly five years from start to finish. "There were many ups and downs and we almost gave up — but are so glad we didn't!"

"Holding Máximo for the first time was something we will never forget," shared Ryan. "He was looking up at us and we were just overcome with love and joy."

This new family of three live in Long Island City, New York.

Congratulations to dads Andy and Mike on their birth of their son Bennett!

In July this year, Andy and Mike became first time dads through surrogacy when they welcomed their son Bennett.

"We are absolutely in love with our baby Bennett! He's doing awesome and his Daddy and Papa have been rewarded with a lot of big smiles! He sleeps a lot and is generally relaxed as he learns about the world around him. He's made us happier than we knew possible and we feel incredibly blessed that he is the culmination of our wonderful surrogacy journey."

Even though their son is only 3 months old, they're already starting to think about and plan for his sibling! Congrats dads!

Congratulations to dads Bryan and Zachary on the birth of your son Spencer!

Three years ago, husbands Bryan and Zachary moved from New York City to Dallas, Texas to start a family.

"Like for most, our journey had many uncertainties with ups and downs along the way," said Bryan. "When you stop and really think about everything that goes into the process and has to take place, it's a true miracle and we feel blessed."

On August 26 this year, their son Spencer was born through surrogacy. "Patience, hope, support and remembering what's eventually to come helped my husband and I during the most stressful times. Now that Gates is here, it's hard to even look back."

"Holding Gates for the first was a true miracle - my husband and I finally took a breath. At that moment, the three of us created our new family and everything was exactly how it was supposed to be."

Congratulations to dads John and Ryan on finalizing the adoption of their son Connor!

When John and Ryan in 2004, they both knew they wanted to be parents. They were married in 2005 and started their journey as foster parents in 2009. They first became dads when their son Cody, then an infant, came to live with them. His adoption was finalized in 2013.

"After Cody's adoption, we 'closed' our home and actually moved a few times before joining the foster parent community again in 2018. When we decided to look to foster and adopt again, Cody was fully on board and that was a big part of our discussions about timing."

Their son Conner was placed with them as an infant in May 2018. Connor's adoption was finalized on October 16, and he was 19 months old at the time.

"Adoption day was a whirlwind," shared John. "We were first on the docket for the judge and he made quick work of finalizing his placement and formally making Connor a member of the family!"

The forever family of four live in San Antonio, Texas and would love to connect with other families like theirs.

Congratulations to dads Matt and Ian on the birth of their son Rocco!

Denver couple Matt and Ian had been dreaming of the day when they'd become dads. The husbands have been together going on 8 years, married for 5, and had picked out their son's name even before they were married.

"The journey to fatherhood has been a long and emotional one," shared Matt. "After our first fertility clinic placed roadblocks in front of us for almost two years, we changed to a new once and suddenly found ourselves on a pace far quicker towards fatherhood. We engaged a surrogacy agency to find our gestational carrier after two attempts to do it ourselves, and ended up with someone who was so far and beyond what we ever could have imagined, we cannot imagine the journey without her. We call her our angel not just because of her selfless act but for her guidance along the way as a mother herself."

From their first 13 embryos, one little one tried to hang on but didn't quite make it to the end. After several years of trying up, they decided to give it one more go and were able to produce 6 eggs, one of which resulted very quickly into a multiplying, healthy and genetically viable embryo - the last of 19 attempts. "The day we found out that our little bundle of cells had matured, we unexpectedly lost my Grandfather on the same day – a stark reminder of the cycle that is life. We gave our son the middle name of Keen as it was one of my late grandfather's signature words to use. 'Oh, that's so keen...' is a phrase I can still hear him saying to me as a child."

On July 26, the dads welcomed their son Rocco! "We are blessed now with a sleeping, funny, expressive and engaged little spirit in our lives. The process was tough, emotional and downright exhausting. The moment he showed up though, let out a scream then looked at his with his funny little furled brow, every single appointment, lost night's sleep, worry and tear was collectively worth it. We are Dads … and that is simply the greatest thing we have ever been."

Congratulations to Travis and Jay on finalizing the adoption of their son Kathan!

Travis and his husband Jay began their path to fatherhood a little over three years ago when they began the certification process to adoption through the foster care system. "After a little over a year and a half in the making we got the call on June 3rd 2018 at 11:30am. That day changed our lives in so many beautiful ways," said Travis.

At just 4 days old, the dads brought their son Kathan home, and 16 months later, they celebrated his adoption being finalized. "It felt like we had been set free as a family for the first time."

Kathan's adoption day was incredibly personal for the dads so they spent it with close family and took Kathan out for celebratory brunch.

Congrats to this Orange County forever family of three.

Congratulations to dad Derek and Zack on the birth of their daughter Georgia!

On October 18, 2019, dads Derek and Zack, and big brother Hank, welcomed Georgia to the family. The family is over the moon!

"Zack and I were lucky to be able to work with the same surrogate that helped us with our son Hank," said Derek. Their family journey experienced a significant setback when one of their fertility clinic's embryo storage tanks malfunctioned, and they lost all their genetic material - 11 fertilized embryos - that Derek's sister and Zack had donated to create their family. Luckily, Derek's sister was incredible and happily flew out to donate her beautiful genes again.

"Our family is truly the living embodiment of the love of our extended family and our carrier Raelene (and her family) have for us and our dream to meet our children. Meeting Georgia, for me, was the realization of all those feelings of love and hope we felt throughout our journey."

Congrats to this San Francisco family of four!

Congratulations to dads Rob and Scott on the birth of their daughter Sierra!

Rob and Scotty's journey to fatherhood started in December 2014, and they became first time dads eighteen months later when their son Ryder was born through surrogacy. In early October this year, they welcomed their daughter, Sierra, also through surrogacy.

"Holding her for the first time was amazing and warmed our hearts completely," shared Scotty. "Our son loves his baby sister and is very protective of her!!"

Huge congrats to this Sacramento family!

Congratulations to dads Brian and John on the birth of their son Weston!

Brian Wall and his fiancé John Agricola live in Toronto, Canada, and they recently welcomed their son Weston into the world on November 13.

"Our path to fatherhood was made a little simpler because my first cousin offered to be our surrogate," said Brian. "It took about a year total from picking an egg donor and our first successful embryo transfer on March 13."

When the dads first held their son they both agreed it was the most emotional experience they've ever had. "So grateful to our surrogate and he is a healthy boy!!"

Congrats to this new family of three, and can't wait to see wedding photos from your upcoming nuptials!

Congratulations to Ricky and Jeff on finalizing the adoption of their daughter Kylie!

Ricky and Jeff finalized the adoption of their youngest on November 8, the biological sister to their son Kadyn.

"Her birth mom knew that she couldn't take care of her and wanted us to have her," shared Ricky. "We went through the county again and we were able to adopt Kylie 6 months after her birth. The extra cool experience this time around was the fact that we were invited to be there to be part of the birth."

To be finalize Kylie's adoption was "amazing" said the dads. "It means that nothing and no one can do or say anything that would effect her being with us, which almost happened about a month before the adoption day."

Congratulations to this Californian forever family of four!


United Nations Calls on Cambodia to End Criminalization of Surrogates

Cambodia's 2016 law criminalizes surrogacy — and requires women who work as surrogate to raise the children they conceived for intended parents as their own.

Last Friday, the United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reiterated its support to end the harassment and criminalization of surrogates in Cambodia, according to Voice of America.

The report issued by CEDAW recognized growing international criticism of the unregulated practice of surrogacy around the world, which often leads to the exploitation of women who work as surrogates. However, since surrogacy became illegal in Cambodia, over 60 women working as surrogates — the very people put in danger of exploitation — have been arrested and subjected to criminal proceedings. The women were only released according to VOA, under the condition of raising the surrogate children until they are 18.

"The Committee is particularly concerned that such an obligation creates an additional financial and emotional burden on women who are in precarious situations, which led them to act as surrogates in the first place," the report reads, "and that they face discrimination and stigma from their families and communities for having acted as surrogates."

CEDAW called on the Cambodian government to repeal the October 2016 law — particularly the requirement of raising the children they conceived for other intended parents as their own. This punishment is particularly onerous given that many of these women entered surrogacy arrangement against their will, said Chak Sopheap, Executive Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, speaking to VOA.

"Surrogate women in Cambodia are likely to be at the sharp end of various economic and political hardships that caused them to make the decision to become a surrogate," she told VOA in an email. "We have seen, over the past year, women surrogates raided, charged with human trafficking, and detained, with no transparency from the authorities as to their wellbeing or that of the children they have given birth to."

Read more about this story here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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