Gay Dad Life

These Entrepreneurs Are Motivated By Dreams to Grow Their Family

Joey and Tyler Brown have been together 10 years and have a 14-month-old son and are expecting twin boys. They hope to have many, many more.

Joey and Tyler met in Dayton, Ohio, when Joey was working temporarily as a field director for a local politician's campaign. When Joey was managing a Sunglass Hutt, they saw a unique business opportunity and decided to build their own sunglass store. This initiative grew to five additional stores and this year they sold them for a good price and they're looking for their next business venture. But before business, comes their family. And although they have one son and two more on the way, Joey and Tyler would love to achieve their dream of having eight kids. Here's their story.


Tell us about your path to fatherhood. We both knew we wanted children that shared our genetics and to follow the process from conception to delivery. We however have a ton of love for adoption and are considering this for future children as we both want a larger family of 8 children.

Did you face any obstacles? Well we outlined surrogacy as our path and quickly realized it's super expensive. The agencies we contacted did not sugarcoat the process and cost. So affording this has become a motivating factor in being successful in business. People often say we must really love designer sunglasses to push the business so far but it was very clear in our minds that there was a bigger purpose to growing the business.

How has your life changed since you became a father? I have an even greater love of children. I remember when I heard babies crying in my past I would consider it an inconvenience. A couple months ago at a Kohl's I heard a baby screaming and crying. I was so excited to run over and hold her and calm her down. Her mother probably thought it was weird that this stranger wants to hold my crying baby and looking back on it I'm kinda surprised I did it but it felt natural at the time.

What have you learned from the children since you became a dad? Patience and remaining calm. I believe children pick up on us and our emotions so when they become irate or upset it's our job to not elevate the stress and calm them.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? We live in a small town in northern Florida, and are extremely honest about our family. I regularly forget we are gay until someone asks about who our surrogate was or brings something to my attention that reminds me I am out of the "norm". Since we have been so open I would have suspected at least one person would have some kind of negative view. But if they did, thankfully they did a great job of keeping it to themselves.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? Oh wow we are just now building our dream home so I hope still living in it as it holds the space to accommodate our growing family. I would also hope we would have many more children and possibly all 8 we always wanted.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? We used surrogacy solutions with Lauren Palm here in Florida and our first surrogate is Brittany Brown. She has the same last name as us which is a crazy coincidence. She married her wife Carina Cardozo and they have three wonderful children.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Do it!! I would gladly assist them and hook them up with the right agencies

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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.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Become a Gay Dad

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Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the adoption and foster care processes.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care 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.

Our team of experts include:

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.

Our team of experts include:

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.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

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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New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

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."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

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.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

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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.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

Thinking about becoming a foster parent? Check out these resources here, and visit AdoptUSKids.

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Transracial Families Series

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

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

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

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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