Gay Dad Life

#GayDadStory: Aaron and Chuck in Their Own Words

Aaron E. Rogers wrote the following #GayDadStory, 

Aaron and Chuck: Our Beginnings as a Couple

Let us go back to the beginning, before the kids, DFCS (Division of Family and Children Services), doctors, marriage, etc. I knew I was gay when I was still in elementary school. In 2004, when I was 22, I met my future husband Chuck online. We dated a few months and then decided to move in together. We bought a house and started living our closeted lives. Only family and close friends knew about us. To come from a very religious family and to live in South Georgia, it was not that easy to come out. Growing up all I heard were crude and negative comments about gay people from my family. How was supposed to tell them that I was something they hated? I felt like I had no support.

After I left my hometown of Douglas, my family did eventually come around. They were supportive and eventually going home to visit became easier.

Aaron (left) and Chuck

A Cousin’s Child Neglect Leads to a Horrific Accident 

My cousin Larry and his wife Rose (not their real names) had five children: Paul, Andrew, Bobby, Bart and Annie (also not their real names). If I were to describe my cousin, I would need to use some ugly language, so I won’t. But I’ll say this: The children were always dirty, they never had shoes that fit and the house was filthy with snakes and cats as well as cat feces all over the place. He couldn't keep a job and they had to move constantly. The children suffered neglect and they cared for themselves.

Let me go ahead and warn you that this is the sad part to our story. On May 31, 2011, Paul, Andrew and Bobby (who we now call Lil Man) were outside playing and were “going on an adventure.” They came to a pond that was behind the house they were renting and found an old boat. Paul and Andrew decided to get in the boat; neither one of the children knew how to swim at that time. When the two boys got in the boat and it started to drift and rock, they became scared and both jumped out into the water. Bobby who was still on the shore was able to grab a stick and pull Paul out of the water; however, he was not able to save Andrew because he was too far out, and Andrew drowned. My heart is breaking just thinking about this. It was a terrible shock to our family. Still, it wasn’t then that DFCS decided to take them away.

 

After More Neglect and Abuse, DFCS Finally Steps In

After returning home, they still experienced neglect and mental abuse by Larry.  On one occasion after returning home, Larry walked through the house with a loaded gun and told Rose that she needed a bullet in her head. A cousin who was over for a visit called the police. Larry was arrested when Paul told them that he had threatened to kill their mother.

It was later that year that DFCS finally removed the kids from the care of Larry and Rose. It was 1 a.m. and Rose called 911 threatening to kill herself. When the cops and ambulance arrived, the children were outside playing with golf clubs and there was no running water in the house. The police also found that the window unit was leaking water onto the floor. Larry was nowhere to be found.

 

Lil Man as a baby and Paul as a toddler

My Cousin and his Wife Don’t Turn Their Lives Around

Larry and Rose, to get their children back, they both had to get jobs, have a stable home, take parenting classes, and Larry was required to take anger management classes. Well, Larry did not intend to complete any of the requirements to get his kids back. Rose tried to attend the classes but with her not having a vehicle it was almost impossible for her to attend the classes like she was supposed to. What classes she attended mother or aunt Marilyn took her. Now while the kids were with Mrs. Logan (the foster mother) Larry and Rose were required to make routine visits. Rose did make as many visits as she could in the beginning, but Larry (according to Bobby) only visited with them once. After a while, Rose stopped visiting the kids and almost six months went by without her seeing or talking to them.

 

The Kids are Freed for Adoption; Chuck and Aaron Begin Adoption Proceedings for Paul and Bobby

In 2012, my aunt, whom I was close with, told me that my cousin’s kids that were in foster care were going to be placed for adoption. She said they were looking at our family for placement. I did not want to say anything until I talked to Chuck first.

We always wanted kids and had talked about adopting but at that time in Alabama, gay couples did not just go out and adopt with no problems. Therefore, when I did speak with him, he told me of course, he would love for us to look into it.

About the time we started visiting with them is about the time Rose stopped her visits. When I first contacted DFCS in Douglas, I was told that Tawanna Logan (the foster mother)  was planning to adopt Bart and Annie. So I told the caseworker that we would like to foster the other two (Paul and Bobby).

For the next ten months we drove from Seale, Alabama, to Valdosta, Georgia, about 200 miles one-way every single weekend. It is not an exaggeration to say we spent over $30,000 in travel,  clothing, birthday and Christmas presents as well as furniture for the boys. We always had such a good time visiting with them, and just after a few visits, we fell in love and knew we wanted them.

Wrench # 1: DFCS Refuses to Approve Home Study

About midway into our visits, DFCS in Alabama tells us that the state office in Montgomery would not approve our home study. One night before our foster parent class began, Mary, our caseworker, calls me to her office and gives me this heartbreaking news. All I can say to her with tears in my eyes is "Mary, we already love them!" This makes her cry and she tells me that we can appeal by writing a letter. The reason they were not going to approve the home study is because we were a gay unmarried couple living together. We go home utterly heartbroken.

The next day Mary called me and said that the state office had reconsidered. You cannot imagine how happy we were.

Wrench #2: DFCS is Unwilling to Grant Chuck a Second-Parent Adoption

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the ordeal. Later, we found out that DFCS would not consider Chuck as a second parent when the adoption comes up in the future. Well, this is another blow to us. We should have known better with the laws the way they were, but it still hurt. We loved them; we would crawl through broken glass for them. Ultimately, we decided to ignore this unfair treatment. Are you ready for another wrench in our plans?

Wrench #3: DFCS Refuses to Approve Home Study Unless Chuck Moves Out

If the first two were not bad enough, in order for our home study to be approved Chuck had to move out. Are they serious? Oh yes, they were serious! Either he moved out or no approval. Luckily, Chuck’s dad and stepmom live right across the street from us. Problem solved financially but not emotionally. I can tell you this put a strain on our relationship but we had come too far. The fact that we were crazy about them kept us moving forward no matter how many roadblocks we faced.

 

Paul (left) and Lil Man when they first came to live with us, 2013

And so, When the Children Move In ...

On February 2, 2013, we drove to Valdosta and picked up our boys. We were so happy; we waited so long and jumped through so many hoops to get them. Anyone who has fostered through DFCS knows what it is like. For a gay couple, it feels like everyone is watching us and judging us.

When they came to live with us, the adjustment was tough but I guess that is normal. We had been by ourselves for years and now there were two kids in our home. Paul was 11 and Lil Man was 7.

 

... Chuck Moves Out

When the children came home, Chuck had to move out. My partner who I lived with and loved for eight years now had to move out of our home. It was an excruciatingly difficult time for both of us. I cried at night; so did Chuck. This is what he had to do. In the morning he would come up and help get the kids ready, then in the afternoon he came home, but at bedtime, he had to leave. This made no sense to me, DFCS allowed him to be there during the day but he could not spend the night. I cannot be the only one who thinks this is crazy. I mean he passed the background check, he took the classes! I do not understand. Because Chuck could not adopt the kids with me and the fact he could not be there at night caused him to become depressed. Therefore, for the next year and a half that is what we did every day. The nights got easier; sometimes I was just too tired to think about being lonely.

 

Paul’s Autism Diagnosis

At this time we did not know that Paul was autistic. I thought something was different about him, but I thought it was because what they had been through. I just thought it was due to the neglect and Andrew’s death. I look back and makes me so sad because I was so ignorant about his autism. I just thought that after they were there for a while that they would just get onboard. Well, it just does not work that way; an autistic child does not just get onboard.

Chuck on the other hand just clicked with Paul. Chuck is quiet and introverted so it was easier for Paul to bond with him. I on the other hand tend to be loud and very extroverted. For an autistic child this can be very intimidating.

Lil Man, like me, is very extroverted, and because of that, Paul and Lil Man are not close at all. But like me, he has a temper.

Now that we had kids, I wanted to be that parent who was involved in everything. So I signed Lil Man up for baseball. This was a wonderful experience for both of us, but keep in mind that all this was still hard for Chuck since he was not legally part of the kid’s life. Chuck and I both enjoyed it but something was missing, and he was hurting inside and often I would forget. It is hard to explain: We were happy but for both of us something was missing: We both wanted Chuck to be an official father. This caused major problems in our relationship but I will get to that later.

 

The Separation

A few months before the adoption was finalized, Chuck and I separated. I did not want to be in a relationship anymore. We were both angry and resentful of each other. Yet, I still wanted him to be part of their lives and we would still find a way for him to adopt them. After the adoption, he moved back in but we had separate rooms. This was the man I was supposed to be with for the rest of my life. How did this happen, this was not supposed to happen to us. We were supposed to have each other’s back. But we didn’t, too much had happened and things had been said that would take a long time to mend. I will agree that most of it was my fault. I should have been stronger, fought a little harder. Why was I so weak?

 

Wrench #4: Adoption Judge Refuses to Sign Adoption papers

It’s adoption day, what is supposed to be the happiest day for adoptive parents and kids. A few weeks before the adoption, we were tasked with choosing new last names. My last name was Kirkland at the time and Chuck's was Rogers. We talked about hyphenating their last names to make it Rogers-Kirkland. The children agreed and Chuck loved the idea.

We go to court, everything is going fine, and then the judge does not like the idea of a hyphenated name. He told us that people would make fun of them because of their last name. He does not sign the papers.

As tough as this was for me, it does not even compare to what it did to Chuck; this was the last straw for Chuck. I have never seen him cry the way he did in the laundry room that night. I just remember him saying, “This just hurts so much.” All I could do was cry right along with him.

 

Chuck with Lil Man (left) and Aaron with Paul (right), 2017

A New Beginning: October 11, 2016

Editor’s Note: Aaron and Chuck eventually managed to reconcile their differences and find a way forward together. They got back together! 

That was the day my life changed, the day that I married Chuck. I am happy now and no one will hurt me or make me feel less than what I am ever again. All this time I had this wonderful person right in front of me and I did not even notice.

On October 10, 2016, we met with our lawyer and spoke to him about Chuck adopting the boys. That morning we had no plans to marry. We hoped that the judge would waive the marriage clause and let Chuck adopt the boys. But when we spoke to the lawyer he pretty much told us we needed to be married. When we left the lawyer’s office I called Chuck (we drove separate vehicles) and told him to meet me at home and we would go to the courthouse that day and get married. Well, October 10 was a holiday so the government center in Columbus was closed. We did not even realize it was a holiday. All we could think about was getting married.

We did not tell anyone our plans only his mother who was down visiting and my friend at work knew what plan we had hatched. Our plan was, the next day we would both leave work early. I told everyone I had some probate stuff to take care of. It was not a lie; we did have to go to the probate office to get the license. We got the license and at 5 p.m. that Tuesday, we were married in less than five minutes.

 

Adoption Finalized, Finally

Now that we were married, Chuck could finally adopt the boys. Therefore, when we talked to the lawyer we were so happy to hear that the adoption would only cost us $1,800.  It took almost four months for Chuck to adopt the boys, but the day it was final it was like a huge load off us. I took Chuck's last name and the judge granted the adoption giving the boys Chuck’s last name as well.

 

From left to right: Paul, Chuck, Bart, Annie, Aaron, Lil Man

Making Plans to Reunite All The Kids

On the day we were married, we decided to bring all the siblings back together. We realize now that it was a mistake to separate them. The next day I contacted Annie and Bart’s caseworker and told her that we wanted them. She had contacted me in the past about getting them but with both of us in a deep depression and separated I could not even think about taking on two more kids. The caseworker called me and told me that another family in Florida was interested in the kids. It almost felt like déjà vu and we’d have to battle with the DFCS again, but Bart and Annie’s caseworker decided it was best for the children to join their siblings.

We do not have the two little ones yet but we are working hard to get them. We are excited and enjoy every visit so much; we long for the day that we can all be together.

 

Learning About Autism

Chuck and I are both learning all we can about autism and special-needs children. We have since started school at Troy University studying Psychology with Applied Behavior Analysis. Chuck and Paul are members of a local support group called the Autism Hope Center, which offers support to parents and kids with autism. This has really helped Paul and Chuck. Paul has even made a few friends. We hope that our story does not keep anyone from adopting through DFCS, but educates and prepares them for the obstacles they may face.

Our family has finally found the happiness that we always wanted. Thank you for reading our story.

***

This article has been condensed and edited slightly for grammar and clarity.

 

Read other #GayDadStories:

Joe and Tim share their #GayDadStory

Rich and Derek share their #GayDadStory

 

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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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Gay Dad Life

Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

While I appreciated the tip, I let him know that I was really hoping for a direct referral. But when none others came from the — other than a couple of middle schoolers looking for their first sitting jobs — I decided to give it a try.

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Move over Modern Family, there are some new gay dads taking over the small screen! Big Bad Boo Studios is bringing their animated series The Bravest Knight to Hulu. The series is based upon a children's book called "The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived" by Daniel Errico, and it follows the life of Sir Cedric - now grown and married to Prince Andrew - as he regales their adopted daughter Nia with tales of his knighthood journey as she trains to become a knight herself.

"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...

Popular

'Our Family is Complete': Congrats to Gay Dads on Their Recent Births and Adoptions!

Join us in congratulating all of the gay men in our community whose families grew recently!

Wishing all of these gay dads congratulations on their exciting news this month. From becoming first-time dads to finalizing adoptions, congrats to everyone in our community on their wonderful news!

Circle Surrogacy is the proud sponsor of this month's congrats post. They were founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. "For over 20 years we've helped LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!"

Congratulations to Andrew and Edward on finalizing the adoptions of their twins!

For Andrew and Edward, their foster parent training plus home study took about a year. "We had a brief placement of twin girls that were four years old two months after we had been approved," said Andrew. "Then we took a break as it was a difficult process, the 'loss' aspect, when that placement ended."

Then on March 15, 2017, their case worker sent them information about two little babies - a boy and a girl - that were still in the NICU and only nine days old. "It was a foster case with an uncertain future, but we decided those little babies needed us!" They dads took a leap of faith and on July 10 this year, their twins' adoptions were finalized. Andrew and Edward have a wonderful bond with the paternal grandmother as well as a special relationship with the twins' father. "We all love these twins, and the more love they have the better their lives will be."

"Adoption is one of those experiences where one side experiences incredible joy while the other side experiences incredible loss," continued Andrew. "We are grateful to experience this joy knowing that biological family members are happy for us to experience that joy."

Congratulations to this Mt Airy, Philadelphia, forever family of four!

Congratulations to Sean and Thomas on finalizing the adoptions of their twins!

Together 15 years, London couple Sean and Thomas recently finalized the adoption of their twins.

"About 3 years ago we started meeting adoption agencies and were approved as prospective adopters the following spring," shared Thomas. "We were anticipating a long wait, but quite quickly were matched with our twins. At the time they were nearly five."

After a fairly long transition period for everyone to get settled in, the adoption was formalized the day after Father's Day. "Two years after matching, at times it seems like the kids have been with us forever and other times a blink of an eye. But it is certainly the most life-changing, transformative experience and we cannot imagine life without them. It's wonderful that our family is now official!"

Congratulations to Phillip and Clinton on the birth of their daughter Madison!

Little Madison joined her dads on July 1, 2019, after coming into the world via surrogate.

"I caught Madison as she was born," said Phillip. "I have never felt such an exhilarating rush in my entire life! We were genuinely in love at first sight!"

Now that we Phillip and Clinton are dads, they say they feel a "sense of wholeness" in their lives! "We have a new motivation and purpose in life! It's truly the greatest blessing!"

These new dads and the apple of their eye live in Texas.

Congratulations to Michael and Tyler on the birth of their twins, Elliot and Oliver!

Herriman, Utah, couple Michael and Tyler have been together for 9 years, and married for 3. "In the beginning of our relationship we knew how important family was and how much we wanted to be dads," said Micheal. "After we got married we met with a couple surrogacy agencies and were advised to meet with an IVF clinic before proceeding. In doing so, we found that going through a surrogacy journey independently was very possible."

So the dads decided to shift gears and work in that direction, booking a follow up appointment with the clinic. "We met with their 3rd party coordinator over the surrogate process and she did not have any inquiries of any surrogates." Serendipitously, and unbeknownst to the husbands at the time, their future surrogate made an appointment to talk about being a gestational carrier for a same-sex couple. "The next day we got the unexpected call that someone was interested and open to meet. From there the rest was history as we continued with the surrogacy process."

Over a year later, the dads welcomed their two sons. "The first time we got to hold the boys, it felt so natural to us, as if nothing else in the world existed and time stood still as we got lost in the moment."

Congratulations to Adam and Josh on finalizing the adoption of their daughter!

Adam and Josh got engaged on Good Morning America on Valentines Day, and welcomed their Christmas miracle baby into their lives on December 26th. On July 12 this year, they celebrated becoming a forever family of three.

"For an event that always seemed like it would be the end of our adoption journey, Baby K's Finalization Day felt more like the beginning of a greater adventure," shared Adam. "Since day one, Baby K was always loved and 100% part of our family, but we are so filled with joy to see this day come and make it officially official. We cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives not only watching Baby K grow and develop, but also to see the two of us learn and grow in this new role as parents."

Congrats to these Dallas dads!

Congratulations to Dan and Martin on the birth of their son Herman! 

Copenhagen couple Dan and Martin welcomed their second child through surrogacy on July 11 this year in Florida, USA. Herman joins big sister Ellen, born March 1, 2015, in Vermont via surrogacy. Here's a little more.

"Two amazing American women and their families took us in as their own and we're forever bonded," said Dan about their path to fatherhood experience. "It has been an amazing journey with both of them, our family is complete."

Congrats to the Danish family!

This post is sponsored by Circle Surrogacy

Circle was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. To this day, that belief is at the core of everything we do. For over 20 years we've helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!

We're an agency comprised of social workers and lawyers, accountants and outreach associates, and program managers and coordinators; but, more importantly, we're an agency made up of parents, surrogates and egg donors, who are passionate about helping people build their families, and invested in each and every journey.

Circle is proud to have helped so many gay families achieve their dreams of becoming parents. Together, we make parenthood possible.®

News

Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals.

In a post on Facebook, Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, came out as gay. He also discussed his strained relationship with his Mormon faith, claiming he felt he didn't feel comfortable living as an openly gay man in a church with a difficult history with respect to its LGBTQ members. He and his wife, Lois, have filed for divorce.

"This is one of the hardest letters I have ever written," he began the letter. "Hard because I am finally acknowledging a part of me that I have struggled with most of my life and never wanted to accept, but I must be true and honest with myself." He went on to acknowledged a new set of challenges facing he and his family as they navigate a divorce and his coming out — in the public eye, no less — but concluded, ultimately, that it's a "huge relief" to be "honest and truthful about my orientation."

He went on to condemn The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. "I didn't want to face the feelings I fought so hard to suppress, and didn't want to reach out and tell those being ostracized that I too am numbered among them. But I cannot do that any longer."

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Ed Smart further discussed his reasons for coming out now, as a 64-year-old man.

"I mean, I knew that it would probably come out at some point, just because people can't leave things alone. I did anticipate that it would happen at some time, but my intention in writing it was to try to let my friends and family know, you know my extended family ... know where things were. So, you know, I was really concerned about how the rumor mill starts," he told the paper. "I knew that at some point in time, that would come out," he elaborated. "I didn't know when it would come out, and so I would rather have it come out the way that it did versus having some rumors going around, and you know the crazy way things can get twisted."

In 2002, Ed Smart's daughter Elizabeth was abducted at knife point by a married couple from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. She suffered physical and sexual abuse at the couple's hands, for nine months, until she was finally rescued by police. During the ordeal, papers — including the Salt Lake Tribute — speculated about Ed Smart's sexual orientation based on some fabricated information sold to the paper by tabloids like the National Enquirer. (The Enquirer retracted the story, and the reporters at the Tribute were ultimately fired.)

"I think that in April I started feeling like I needed to prepare something," Smart told the Tribute. "Because during Elizabeth's ordeal, there were things said, and it wasn't what I wanted to say, and I was not going to allow that to happen again."

As to how his family has taken the news, Smart said they've been "very kind" to him. "I think it was very difficult to have this kind of come out of the blue. I don't think any of them knew I was struggling with this, so it was something they were, if you want to call it, blindsided by. I totally get that. They've really been very wonderful."

Congrats to Ed Smart on making the difficult decision to live his truth. Read his full letter here and his interview with the Tribute here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

"Rollercoaster and Sons," Explores the Journey of One Single Gay Dad Through the Foster-Adopt System

When it comes to the foster-adopt system, "there is no roadmap," said single gay dad Chase Turner

Guest post written by Chase Turner

Many of us thought long and hard about what avenues were best to pursue being a dad. For me, fostering to adoption was the selected road. There is no roadmap here, many things that came my way were learned by doing. Along the way, I started wishing I had a better support group or people who could understand what it's like to be gay and attempting to adopt. Often we (people who are LGBT) feel scrutinized and judged for choices that the majority makes but for us there is pushback. Once my adoption was complete, I felt it was necessary that I put pen to paper and write this story, from a gay male perspective.

My goal was to provide a voice in the space of foster care and adoption where there is a void. Additionally, I wanted to provide an authentic look at all facets of the process, from the kids, to the obstacles and challenges that happened within my personal life. I do hope you enjoy and more importantly can relate or prepare yourself for a similar journey.

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Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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