Gay Dad Photo Essays

Celebrate Mother's Day This Year by Checking Out These Fabulous Lesbian Insta-Mom Accounts

Most of our content focuses on gay, bi and trans dad. But this Mother's Day, we're bringing you ten two-mom families worth following on Instagram.

Although the majority of our content focuses on gay, bi and trans dads and dads-to-be, we're always excited for Mother's Day. It's when we get to show our love for all of the AMAZING sister-accounts out there that celebrate lesbian moms!

This Mother's Day, we asked a few of our fav two-mom Instagram accounts how they celebrate the special day, what they love most about being a mom, and what they've learned in the process.

Be sure to follow these awesome lesbian and bi women celebrating all things motherhood on Instagram.


"Being mamas has taught us to slow down and be patient, dance a little more" 

Saci and Jessica grew their family through known sperm donor home insemination. "It was important to us that our baby be half Black -- like Mommie Saci -- and that our child be able to mee the man when he's grown up, if he chooses."

On motherhood:

"Being mamas has taught us to slow down and be patient, dance a little more, and also how important family is to us - from our siblings to parents and even grandparents, Jai has brought such a light to our family and we are so thankful for our dude."

Follow the Duncan Minor family

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"Our daughter has strengthened our relationship as we communicate more"

Nyesha (Uma) and Samantha (Umi) had been together for seven years before welcoming daughter Abigail. "Samantha talked about children at the beginning of our relationship and while I told her I definitely wasn't ready, she understood but made it a non-negotiable that kids would be in the future." It was around year six when they both began sharing their feelings and jointly decided that a baby was part of their future. "We always knew she would get pregnant first so after many doctors visits and with a known donor we made it happen in 2018."

How this family celebrates Mother's Day

"Last year we shared gifts as a two-mom squad and spent the day at home with our baby. We embraced the wonderful calls and texts from our friends and family but it was nothing big since our daughter was only 3 months at the time. We did buy one another big gifts for the special day and both agreed that it was the last time we'd get a big gift just on Mother's Day.

We celebrate Mother's Day every day, we praise Abigail and are always thankful for her exciting presence."

Follow Umi and Uma here

***

"Motherhood really helps you focus on what's important in life" 

From the moment Que and Jamilla met, Que made it clear that motherhood was something very important to her. "I always knew despite what my outward appearance may suggest to others, it was important for me to carry our child." Although the path to parenthood was not an easy one for the wives, they wouldn't change a thing. "We appreciate each day we get to spend with one another and are so thrilled about our second Mother's Day!"

The most important lesson these moms have learned...

"Harper teaches me every day to laugh! As long as we are healthy and happy, everything else will work itself out. She is so happy and fun loving. We hope she always retains her humor."

Follow Jamilla and Que here.

***

"We forever have little friends and people that love us" 

Candice and Cynthia are new moms to triplets through ART. Candice has teenage daughter from a previous marriage and thought she was done having more children. After the two met, they realized they wanted children together, especially because Cynthia had never had any experience with babies and raising them since birth. "So after doing some research, we decided to give it a shot and attempted artificial insemination. On our first attempt, we ended up pregnant and with the biggest shock of our lives, we were pregnant with triplets."

The most important lesson they've learned as moms

"Sometimes you have to take things one day at time and your kids are always going to surprise you -- good and bad -- so be prepared."

***

"The most wonderful thing about motherhood is feeling like I have a purpose in life now" 

Once moms Sondra Rae and Missy decided they wanted to bring children into the world, they decided to take the IUI route. "It took us months find the perfect donor and a doctor we adored." They experienced one failed attempt before becoming pregnant with their second IUI. "We are so thankful for our journey and wouldn't want to change it!"

The most wonderful thing about motherhood...

"Is feeling like I have a purpose in life now. Plus being able to see their smiles and personalities come through is amazing. I could be extremely exhausted but looking at them brings me so much joy."

Follow Sondra Rae and Missy

***

"Motherhood has shown us what is really important and what to focus on in life" 

Moms Christina and Katie chose Reciprocal IVF to make their family. Katie carried Christina's egg and they used a donor's sperm. "We chose this route because we could both physically be part of the process."

How this family celebrates Mother's Day

"We make breakfast as a family then get outside for a hike or time at the park. We try to be outside and active as much as possible."

"Motherhood has taught us perspective. It's shown us what is really important and what to focus on in life. We don't waste our time worrying about things that don't positively affect our family."

Follow Christina and Katie here.

***

"Slow down and take time to enjoy the slow moments... because the years go by way too fast" 

Angel and Leah has been together for 10 years before they got married, and were married for another 7 before they had kids. "We explored both foster to adopt and private adoption, spent hours scouring sperm bank catalogs for the perfect donor -- we wanted a Chinese donor and there aren't many to choose from -- and then, to our surprise, Angel's brother agreed to be our donor!" On their 10th try and first round of IVF, they became pregnant with twins who came out looking like both of them.

What has been the best thing about motherhood?

"Watching these tiny humans we created become their own individuals. We love to give them opportunities to explore new places through travel, and there's nothing better than watching their eyes light up when they experience something new for the first time!"

Follow Leah and Angel here.

***

"Motherhood is not something we take for granted"

Raffinee and Micaela decided to use an anonymous sperm donor and IUI to get pregnant. Micaela got pregnant with their eldest first after four trials of IUI. Shortly after -- very shortly after -- Raffinnee became pregnant with twins after five IUI attempts. "Our children are 7.5 months a part, so for a few months out of the year we have three children the same age that are not triplets!"

What have you learned since become a mom?

"Motherhood is not something we take for granted. Like most members of our LGBTQ+ community we had to work hard to come into motherhood! After many doctors visits, months of waiting and many tries later we became moms and our worlds were forever changed.

Becoming mothers has been our greatest adventure together. It has surpassed all expectations in almost every way imaginable. Motherhood has taught me so many things but I think what stands out the most is selfless, unconditional love. Having to show up even when you are sick or exhausted was a tough lesson for me to learn at first! When I'm sick I just want to sleep and that is no longer possible, haha! This is truly a love unlike any I have ever known and I'm continually surprised by how much these little have shaped me as a person."

Follow Raffinee and Micaela here.

***

"Our Mother's Days are basically about enjoying being together" 

America and Briana's path to motherhood was somewhat unexpected. "We married each other knowing neither of us wanted children; we were totally okay with being furbaby moms only." But in during their 12th year together -- their second married -- Briana was bit by the baby bug. Hard!

"After a lot of discussion and soul searching, we decided we were going to try to have a baby! Bri was on board to carry our baby, something I (America) never had a desire to do."

They found their sperm donor and decided to try home insemination. "You know how they say third times the charm? Yeah, she got pregnant on our third try, so we were very lucky."

How this family celebrates Mother's Day

"This year is our third Mother's Day with William. Because it's a day for both of us, we try to sprinkle the day with things that make us happy, with treats we both love. So far, this has included getting our favorite hand-crafted donuts, making art with our son's hands and footprints, beach walks, brunch out, napping together and cooking together. This year we're planning on planting tomatoes and finger painting wooden signs for our garden, and see whatever else the day brings. Our Mother's Days are basically about enjoying being together."

Follow America and Briana here.

***

"It's an amazing feeling when you see your children happy!" 

Denise and Ebony both chose the path of fertility treatments to have their children. Through using an open ID sperm donor, Ebony became pregnant via IUI and Denise became pregnant with twins via IVF.

What have you learned since become a mom?

"The most important lesson we've learned from our kids, specifically from our daughter, is to live in the present moment. Our kids are growing up so fast, so we have to be fully present in order to not miss anything."

Follow Denise and Ebony here.

***

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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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"Stop and smell the roses." It was the thing my dad always said to me when I was growing up. But like many know-it-all kids, I didn't listen. I was determined to keep my eye on the prize. Whether it was getting good grades in school, getting my work published, scoring the next big promotion, buying a house or starting a family. For me, there was no such thing as resting on my laurels. It has always been about what's next and mapping out the exact course of action to get me there.

Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

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Kevin and David know they can never understand what it's like growing up as a young black girl — but they strive to create a 'safe space' for their daughters to talk about the experience

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

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

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Movie Night: My Favorite Family Tradition

As his sons have gotten older, the movies have morphed away from cartoons and towards things blowing up — but movie night remains his favorite family tradition.

Editor's Note: This is the next in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about his life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Of all of our traditions and rituals, probably the most consistent and longest-lasting one was movie night. Sure, we read the heck out of Harry Potter. But our capacity for watching Harry Potter? We're talking Quidditch World Cup here, folks.

In its early version, movie night looked like this: During the week, I would order a movie and a cartoon from Netflix—back when "Netflix" meant "mail." On Saturday night—and I mean, faithfully, every Saturday night—we would order a pepperoni pizza (which Mark faithfully took the meat off of—I'll get to food later) for delivery and then sit and watch our cartoon and movies while eating. The kids had a say in the movie, but I got to pick the cartoon. They watched enough of their own cartoons on the regular, and besides, this gave me a great opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Josie and the Pussycats.


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Happy Mother's Day From Gays With Kids!

To all of the women who have supported the journey of gay, bi and trans men towards fatherhood — thank you, and happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day can be complicated holiday for many gay, bi and trans dads and their kids. Choosing how, when — or even if — to celebrate the day is a uniquely personal decision. But no matter how we've become dads, women have helped us achieve our dreams of fatherhood. And for that reason, we've loved celebrating all of the women who have supported our journeys to fatherhood, in ways big and small, over the years. Check out some of our favorite photos, essays, articles and more below!


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Become a Gay Dad

Webinar Series: Becoming a Dad During a Pandemic

Gays With Kids launches a webinar series with surrogacy, adoption and foster care experts — to explore family planning options for gay, bi and trans men in the age of the coronavirus.

Gay, bi or trans and considering building or growing your family? Gays With Kids is offering FREE webinars led by industry experts in surrogacy, adoption and foster care to give you up-to-date insight on how the coronavirus affects family building. There will be lots of time for audience Q&A, so come prepared for this webinar with your specific questions on starting or continuing your surrogacy journey.

Register via the links below!

SURROGACY

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Surrogacy Webinar Series.

Come discuss: surrogates, egg Donation, IVF, and embryo creation with leading surrogacy and fertility experts.

Please register for just one of the following 3 surrogacy webinars

Monday, May 4, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET

  • Dr. Guy Ringler, California Fertility Partners
  • Victoria Ferrara, Worldwide Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Wednesday, May 6, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET
  • Dr. Jerald S. Goldstein, Fertility Specialists of Texas
  • Sam Hyde, Circle Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-1:00pm PT / 3:00-4:00pm ET
  • Dr. Mark Leondires, Reproductive Medical Associates of CT
  • Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy

Register here (pre-registration required)

ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Adoption Webinar Series.

Come discuss: matching, placements, home studies and finalizations with leading experts in adoption and foster care.

Please register for just one of the following 2 adoption / foster webinars
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
3:00-4:00pm PT / 6:00-7:00pm ET

  • Monica Baker, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
  • Rita Soronen, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Molly Rampe Thomas, Choice Network
Register here (pre-registration required)

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Friday, May 15, 2020
10:00-11:00am PT / 1:00-2:00pm ET

  • Monica Baker, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
  • Rita Soronen, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Molly Rampe Thomas, Choice Network
Register here (pre-registration required)

Gay Dad Life

Top Memes From Parents Sheltered in Place with Kids

Perhaps the ONLY good thing to come out of the coronavirus crisis... hilarious parenting memes.

Very, very few good things have come about since the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, but one of the tiny silver linings — and one of the only ways most of us parents sheltering at home with our kids are staying sane — is this: parenting memes.

We've rounded up our favorites below. (If you know who originated some of these, please let us know so we can give credit!)

Enjoy!


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