Gay Dad Family Stories

Their Families Disapproved of Their Relationship. Then They Became Dads.

Once their son entered the picture, Rafal and Jami's families finally understood that a gay family is no different from a straight one.

When Rafal first met Jami, during a chance encounter in Naples, Florida, he was still very much in the closet. "Jami made a huge impact on my life," said Rafal. "At age 22, he made me feel comfortable enough to come out of the closet, and not hide anymore."

Rafal found the courage to tell his mother that he was gay, and despite her shock, she told her son she accepted him the way he was. Jami, meanwhile, who had been out to his friends and co-workers, had not yet told his own mother. When he finally did tell her, she was also in shock, but had a harder time accepting her son's sexuality orientation due to her religious beliefs.



Rafal (left) and Jami on the day they were married

Despite her disapproval, the pair's relationship progressed, and in September 2016, Jami and Rafal were married. Given their family's ambivalence about their relationship, however, the two decided to elope. The told their families of their marriage only after the ceremony.

Soon after they were married, they began to focus on how they could become dads. With the help of a Polish surrogate, to help provide a connection to Rafal's heritage, the couple welcomed Jacob in December 2017. As soon as they became dads, their relationships with their families changed almost instantly. "They finally understood that being a gay family isn't any different from straight people," said Rafal.

"They love Jacob a lot!" added Jami. "We definitely want to teach our children that we are all the same in God's eyes and he loves us equally."

We caught up with the dads to see how they're finding life as parents.

Tell us about your path to fatherhood. We chose a Polish surrogate because I am Polish and Jami is Jamaican and we wanted the baby to have Polish-Jamaican background.

How has your life changed since you became a father? We were working a lot and spending time traveling and visiting friends. After the birth, we decided to spend more time with the baby at home instead partying. We spend most of the time at home because Jacob is so young but we take him for walks to the beach.

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? We learned how to be patient and the baby brought us even closer to one another.

Was there ever a moment that you or Jami experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? Never. We both wanted to became parents for so long. We are happy that we found each other, wanting the same things in life, like building a strong relationship and raising a child together.

Jami with sleepin Jacob

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? In the beginning it was hard and awkward but baby Jacob changes everything for positive! They are happy for us.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Parenthood is the best thing you can experience in life. But don't rush, make a wise decision if you are ready to become a parent.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? Living in beautiful Naples, Florida. Having a son and a daughter, and also having a great careers

Is there anything else you'd like to add? We love Jacob unconditionally and both of us wants him to have better life and opportunities that we had in life. We know that as a son of two dads, his life might not be easy, but we will be always there to support him! We will support him in every decision he will make in life.

*Answers have been edited for clarity

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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

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Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

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Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

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Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

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Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

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As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

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Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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