Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Lawyer Friend Gave These Gay Dads the Best Gift Ever: A Free Adoption

Jason and Jarrod Gaughan were terrified of the eventual bill when a lawyer friend offered to handle their adoption. Turns out they didn't need to be

This is our adoption story.

After our failed attempt at fostering, my husband (Jarrod) and I (Jason) had given up hope on the possibility of having a child of our own. It wasn't until the summer of 2015 that our hope changed.


I had received a phone call from one of my ex-employees asking me if Jarrod and I were still interested in having a baby. Originally, I thought she was asking me to donate sperm, so I said, "Sure! But you are not going to have it the conventional way..."

and her partner were wanting to have a baby and she was asking us for my sperm.

But that's not what she was asking. An acquaintance of hers was pregnant, it turned out, and the birth mother was looking for someone to adopt her unborn child. I was ecstatic. I was so excited to call Jarrod and ask him what he wanted to do, I think I hung up on her without realizing it.

After speaking with Jarrod I called my friend back to tell her that we would be interested. She put us in touch with the ex-girlfriend to discuss the adoption. After speaking with her we set a date to do the initial meeting.

After meeting with her we were still in disbelief that this was happening.

We met regularly up until the baby's due date in October. I remember one time the baby's mother texted me and asked what we were going to name her. We honestly hadn't thought of a name. So I quickly messaged Jarrod and asked him if he had any names in mind. He messaged back: Savannah, after our favorite place to stay at Disney. I then asked what about a middle name. He said, "what about Rose?" Savannah's mother though it was beautiful.

While waiting for the delivery date, we had to think about the finances of the adoption. Our good friend who is a lawyer handled the adoption. With knowing what he charges per hour and the court costs, we were trying to figure out how we were going to figure out the finances to cover it.

The weekend before the due date in October we received a call from Savannah's mother. She was going into labor. We drove two hours to get to the hospital in Ithaca, but it turned out it was a false alarm. The doctors said it would probably be another week.

We received a call on September 24th that Savannah's mother was in full labor. A two-hour drive later we arrived at Ithaca hospital and we ended up sleeping in the hospital room with Savannah's mother while waiting for her to deliver.

It wasn't until the afternoon of the 25th that Savannah was born.

I was able to cut the umbilical cord. I really thought I was going to get queezy squeezy; to be honest it was like cutting through gristle. The doctor asked if we wanted the placenta. I asked why would someone want to keep that? The doctor said some parents eat it. Now I was queezy.

After Savannah was all cleaned up we were finally able to hold her. She was so tiny and had a head full of hair.

We continued to commute between home and the hospital for three days while mom and Savannah were there. I think everything finally sunk in when we were named the fathers on Savannah's birth certificate and were able to take her home.

The full adoption process took about eight to nine months. After Savannah's "gotcha" day, our friend who was our lawyer handed us an envelope with the bill. Other than the court fees, which amounted to less than $500, his gifted us the rest of the fees associated with the adoption.

That saying, "it takes a village," couldn't be more true. We live in a small town in upstate NY. When the community found out that we were adopting a baby, Savannah became a celebrity over night. We had people leaving us gifts on our porch. Once Savannah was born everyone wanted to meet her.

Savannah is now 3 years old and is in Headstart, and she knows she is loved by all.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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