Gay Dad Life

Just When We Thought We Were Having a Girl

In the final month before our baby arrives, our amazingly generous families threw us two lovely little baby showers, and despite our interest in gender-neutral colors for our daughter, our house has quickly gotten filled up with neon pink, glitter, tulle, and sparkle. So now we’ve got more girl clothing than we know what to do with. And you’re welcome to have as much of it as you’d like.

Because we are having a boy.

Every great story needs a plot twist, right? So let me set this up for you. In July, we were contacted by our adoption agency with a possible placement. We were told the baby was a healthy baby girl, in prenatal care, local in our New Jersey area, and that Bio Mom had picked us out of all the waiting families.

I had always thought I’d want a baby boy, if we’re being completely honest. My whole life, despite being an openly gay hockey goalie, someone who prides himself on defying expectations, I had allowed myself to get wrapped up in the gender-conforming culture of “Well, if he’s a boy we can take him to Devils games, and maybe he could be a goalie.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “If we have a boy, I can teach him all about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania.”

In preparation for a possible placement, we started considering names. The only names that were coming to my mind were girl names, even after 20 years of daydreaming about being the father of a son. We’d walk through Babies “R" Us, and I’d find my eyes settling on tiny onesies with frilly skirts. When we discussed a possible placement, Dom would say “the baby” and I’d catch the “s” of “she” slipping past my lips before I could stop it. I think my heart was telling me that I could actually be a good father to a baby girl.

When the agency called and told us we were being matched with the birth mother of a baby girl, I knew I had arrived at a place where I was just as excited about her arrival as I would have been with a baby boy. I knew I could do this.

Suddenly the excitement and enthusiasm for Devils games and Ladder Matches gave way to visions of Princess Parties at Disney World and watching Dom’s grandmother braid our daughter’s hair, and I was all in.

Dom and I talked about not disclosing the gender to anyone, keeping it a secret until the baby came home. How the hell do other couples do that? When friends tell me secrets, they’re locked in a vault. When it’s our own information, I’m a babbler, always have been.

But we assumed that people liked to buy gendered clothing, and keeping the baby’s sex a secret from our families was going to be difficult. We knew we would live in constant fear and paranoia of using the wrong pronoun. Once, Dom accidentally used the word “he” in a conversation with our friend Tina, even though it was the wrong gender. Dom immediately tried to dial it back, but it only looked more suspicious. It’s like when my sister would try to convince us that she hadn’t farted on the couch by trying to recreate the noise that had just bubbled up from under her. It didn’t work for Lauren, and it didn’t work for us. So we proudly announced that we were having a baby girl.

Two baby showers later, we were stocked up with everything. An adorable Christmas dress, clothes all the way up to 2 years old, tiny baby Uggs, New Jersey Devils headbands. Our families spared no expense when it came to giving us the best baby showers they could put together.

This past Sunday, knowing the baby could come at any time, we devoted one of our last remaining free weekend days to getting the nursery finished. We de-tagged all of the clothing, washed it, sorted it into drawers and hangers and storage bins. We were ready for our daughter to come home.

And then on Wednesday, in my last week as a 30-year old, I found myself thinking, “I don’t have a single gray hair!” Luckily, I got a text message from Bio Mom immediately after her sonogram and check-up. It started this way:


I thought something was wrong, but there wasn’t. Bio Mom shared that the fun thing about sonograms is that sometimes a baby turns a certain way, and things that were previously not visible suddenly become clear. A shadow moves and you get a clearer picture of your daughter’s face.

Or, you know, her penis.

I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I could, but I couldn’t. We had known (but alas, hadn’t really Known, with a capital K) that the baby was a girl. The agency had told us so. Bio Mom had told us so. But in some ways the most real part of it was that we had told ourselves so.

Now, I want to say something here. If the worst news we received from a sonogram was that our healthy 7-pound baby was a boy and not a girl, then we are beyond lucky and grateful.

But there’s a hard reset for us to hit now. We’ve had four months to get ready for a baby girl, physically and emotionally. And now we’ll have a handful of days scattered at the end of October to get ready for the baby we were supposed to have, the son to a Daddy and a Papa. The puzzle piece still fits, it’s just blue instead of pink.

But first came the stuff, the things over which we still maintained a modicum of control. So we rebounded from the phone call with Bio Mom and hit the nursery hard. Because we had taken the tags off of nearly every item of clothing, we were in a pickle. We put everything we thought had come from Babies “R" Us into a giant IKEA bag, and piled into the car. We got there, went to the customer service counter just 90 minutes prior to closing, and explained the situation. And let me tell you, I give Babies “R" Us a little bit of gruff for not providing Dad-focused classes in addition to the breast-feeding and Mommy-centric classes that they offer. But the two women behind the counter of the Babies “R” Us in East Brunswick, New Jersey were beyond incredible. They looked up the individual SKU numbers from the sewn-in tags on every single item. And they gave us $300 in store credit, to then go explore the other half of the store, the one with fewer sparkles and more dinosaurs, less glitter and more trucks. And we are so grateful to those two gals, truly.

We peeled out of Babies “R" Us, pointed the car to Dom’s parents, and told our immediate family. It is so ludicrous that everyone just laughed. As in, “Of course this happened to you guys.”

So this is what happens when you find out that your Tilly ... has a willy. You take a moment to breathe, you smile, you hug your husband. And then you get back to work. Because pee-pee or no pee-pee, this baby is on his way. And he’s coming home in a matter of days.

With October 31 on the horizon, it looks like our son is already familiar with both treats and tricks, and it looks like we’ll be bringing our little Devil home right around  Halloween.

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

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Gay Dad Life

Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

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"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...


Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.


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As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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Fearing the Russian government might take their adopted kids into custody because of their sexual orientation, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev fled Moscow

A married couple in Russia, with two adopted children, were just forced the flee their home in Moscow for fear that the authorities would take their children away, according to German news site Deutsche Welle.

Trouble started last month after investigators in Russia opened a criminal inquiry into the proceedings that had allowed the gay couple, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, to legally adopt the two boys —adoption by LGBTQ people in Russia has typically not been recognized. The government became aware of the adoption proceedings after the gay couple brought their 12-year-old son to the hospital, who was complaining of a stomachache. The boy was fine, but after he mentioned offhand that he was adopted and lived with two fathers, the doctor called the police.

Andrei and Yevgeny granted an interview with Deutsche Welle after escaping Moscow, but on the advice of their lawyers have yet to disclose where they are currently located. Here is a quick recap of that conversation:

"In connection with the 'propaganda of non-traditional values,' the state representatives are accused of having neglected their duty of supervision," Andrei said, when asked to explain on what basis the Russian government might take his children into custody. "This means that lesbian couples could even have their biological children taken away because, through their lifestyle choices, they propagate "certain values."

Yevgeny also explained the events that led to the couple's harrowing escape "I was alone in Moscow at that time. A week after Andrei and the children had left the country, there was a knock on my door, but nobody called 'police, open up.' After half an hour the violent knocking stopped. My parents' home was searched. They were looking for the children and our Danish marriage certificate because we got married in Denmark in 2016. My friends then got me out of the country."

Read the full interview here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple is Using 'Wheel of Fortune' Winnings to Help Fund Their Adoption

Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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