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.

Show Comments ()
News

New York Will Fight 'Repugnant' Trump Rule on Adoption, Says Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York promises legal action of the Trump administration moves ahead with plans to allow discrimination against LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents — but he may face a legal fight from (former) hometown. In a tweet, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the proposed move "isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values,— it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home." If the proposal moves forward, he continued. "we'll take legal action to stop it.

Governor Cuomo's office followed up the tweet with a lengthier statement posted to their website:

Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump's proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.

No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance.

Our message to the Trump administration is simple: there is no place for hate in New York or in our nation, and we will not allow this noxious proposal to stop LGBTQ New Yorkers from becoming parents or providing care to children in need.

News

Trump Administration to Allow Discrimination Against LGBTQ Foster and Adoptive Parents

In its latest move against the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration has proposed a rule that will give adoption and foster care agencies license to discriminate on the basis of religion

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule to reverse an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity — allowing foster and adoption agencies to legally refuse to work with prospective adoptive and foster parents who identify as LGBTQ on the grounds of religious belief.

Denise Brogan-Kator, speaking to the New York Times, said the proposal would have an "enormous" impact on the LGBTQ community, noting that all organizations that get funding from the department will be "free to discriminate."

The White House, for its part, proclaimed the proposed rule was promoting "religious freedom," saying in a statement that "the federal government should not be in the business of forcing child welfare providers to choose between helping children and their faith."

As the New York Times pointed out, LGBTQ couples with children are far likely than different-sex couples to be raising adopted children. This move in support of so-called "religious freedom," then, will merely negatively impact the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system by denying them loving homes with LGBTQ individuals and couples.

Read more about this rule here. We'll be sure to keep readers up to speed as this issue develops.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Adoption Is a Rollercoaster, but it's Worth the Ride

Erik Alexander (aka Nola Papa) opens up about his whirlwind 3.5-week adoption process.

Adoption is an emotional journey for anyone. Depending on how long you have to wait, that anxiety can be amplified dramatically. In the beginning, we were told our wait could be anywhere from 5-7 years. Just imagine our excitement when we found it could be shrunken down to less than a month!

However, it didn't come without heartbreak. It is crucially important to know that each journey is completely different. Sure, there are happy and excited emotions. But there is also fear, tears and heartbreak. Some adoptions end in failure, without any explanation. But at the end of this journey, when you are holding your new baby, there isn't an emotion I can articulate to convey how complete you feel.

Keep reading... Show less
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."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse