Fun

Then And Now: Richard and His Son Jonathan

Richard, 40, has one son, Jonathan, who was adopted in 2003, at the age of 5. Richard and Jonathan live in Lumberton, New Jersey.


Also, be sure to read the special letter Jonathan wrote to all gay dads!

Richard during junior year at Rutgers University, 1996

Richard: It’s hard to believe that my son just turned 18. The years have gone by so quickly! As I look at the pictures, it’s amazing to see how Jonathan has grown and changed over the years, and I also think about how I have changed as both a parent and a person. Initially as a new dad, I probably made every mistake in the book, and I learned as I went. I remember when Jonathan was first placed with me, making a ribeye steak and asparagus for dinner and was shocked when he wouldn't eat it. I quickly learned about chicken nuggets.

Relationship status:

Richard: I was in a relationship for 15 years, which ended two years ago. I recently started dating again.

Richard walking with Jonathan along the shore of Ocean City, 2004

Why did you choose adoption?

Richard: I adopted though the state of New Jersey. Adoption seemed the best fit for me; I know there are so many children in my own backyard who need a family. As fate would have it, my son and I have a certain resemblance so everyone assumes he is biologic. Jonathan no longer corrects anyone who makes that assumption. He only corrects people when we get mistaken for brothers: “No, that's my dad!”

Aruba 2006

Richard is the "Mystery Reader" in Jonathan's third grade class, 2007

What do you consider to be the most important lesson you are teaching your son?

Richard: I have taught my son to think for himself, to take pride in who he is, and to not sweat the small stuff.

Halloween 2007

Hawaii, August 2012

Please share any advice you may have for others considering a similar path to fatherhood.

Richard: My son was 5 when placed for adoption with me. There is a certain stigma around adopting an older child. People think that they are broken. I do not share that belief. Be patient, celebrate wins, stick to your guns and always follow through on what you say. Like any child they will test you. Oh, and teenage years and that teenage attitude is pure hell ... Way worse than toddler temper tantrums ... but they will pass. My son is now 18, has great grades, has a part time job at a movie theatre, is on the high school wrestling team and will soon be off to college.

Jonathan's first prom, April 2014

Typically, the only advice I ever give to parents is, "Don't listen to anyone else. Do what you think is right, and you will always make the right decision for your family." Parenting is hard. Parenting will change you. You may even get pushed to your limits and wonder why you went down this road in the first place. Stay the course. When I look at my son now, I am so incredibly proud of the young man he has become, and I also know that he has changed me for the better.

Philadelphia 2014

April 2015

What does your son call you?

Richard: Dad.

Istanbul 2015

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family?

Richard: Be patient. Let your kids learn to advocate for themselves. Having gay parents is not easy, and they will get teased, most likely in middle school. Try to get involved in groups where they can meet kids that have families similar to their own.

Jonathan driving (with a scared Richard), January 2016

Read more:

Life with a Newborn: Nick and Chris with Their Daughter Ari

Adoption of a Newborn: Gay Dads Brett and Jimmy

Life with a Newborn: Wes, Michael and Katie with Talulah

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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.

Fun

Top Moments From Famous Gay Dads in 2018!

From Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black becoming first time dads, to a gay dad contestant on the Great British Bakeoff, here were some of the top moments from famous gay dads in 2018!

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Fun

This Gay Dad Takes 'Twinning' to a Whole New Level

With his husband away on work, Danny Maffia was put on twin duty and filmed the experience for our viewing pleasure.

Danny Maffia and his husband Justin DeMartin became dads to twins after a three failed adoptions and two scams (read their story here). And not only did they get their family's happy ending, they are also winning at this whole twin thing!

Recently, while Justin was away for various work conferences, Danny was left holding the fort. For some fun, he decided to film his nightly routine with the twins. Remaining cool, calm and collected, in the video Danny appears to stay one step ahead of his twins at all times. Bravo, dad!

Danny was quick to follow up in his Instagram post that this was a very tame night in comparison to what it can usually be. Tame or not, Danny shows us how it's done. Our hats are off to you!

Gay Dad Photo Essays

Pics of the Moment Before and After Gay Men Become Dads

Dig through your phones — what was the last pic taken of you BEFORE you became a dad?

We all have THAT photo: the one taken moments after we become fathers for the first time. For some of us, we're doing "skin to skin" in a delivery room. For others, we're standing proudly alongside our newly adopted child and judge in a courtroom. However or wherever it happens, though, we make sure to snap a picture of it.

But what about that last photo BEFORE you first became a dad? What does that image look like, we wondered? Well, we asked our Instagram community to dig through through phones and find out. Some of us are enjoying a last carefree meal or glass of wine, others of us are captured nervously contemplating our futures. Whatever it is, we've decided these BEFORE pictures are just as meaningful.

Enjoy some of our favorites! Want to play along? Dig through your phones and send us your pics to dads@gayswithkids.com!

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Entertainment

Gay Dad in Sundance's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' is Relatable AF

Sundance hit "Brittany Runs a Marathon" stars a gay dad trying to get in shape.

Who would make for the best marathon training partner for an overweight, overly boozed 27-year-old woman? A gay dad, of course!

The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

Expert Advice

Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

We asked our Instagram community for their biggest questions about adoption. Then asked Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network to answer them.

As part of our new "Ask an Expert" series on Instagram, our community of dads and dads-to-be sent us their questions on adoption in the United States. Molly Rampe Thomas, founder of Choice Network, answered them.

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Popular

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded in the last month or so a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

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