Gay Dad Life

Life with a Newborn: Derek & Spencer

Derek, a Registered Nurse in an adult intensive care unit, and Spencer, a Radiology Technologist have recently welcomed baby Jack into their homes. We caught up with the new dads to see how life is treating them!

GWK: What has life been like since Jack came into your lives?  How were those first couple of weeks?

Life as brand new dads came natural to both of us; we have wanted to be dads for as long as we can remember.  We got the call from our adoption lawyer that we were matched with an expectant mother about three weeks prior to her due date so we went into overdrive preparing the nursery and getting everything we needed.  Once Jack was here it was go time!  

When leaving from the hospital with Jack after he was discharged it was very surreal; we came as a family of two and our now leaving as a family of 3!  The first couple nights were rough; Jack would only sleep when being held, so we had to rotate shifts throughout the night.  The third night at home he was able to sleep in the basinet next to our bed and has been a great sleeper ever since.  Jack started sleeping through the night around 2 ½ months old which was fantastic!

We both took off the maximum 12 weeks of bonding leave; Spencer took his 12 weeks all together while Derek split his 12 weeks up.  One or two of us were able to be at home with Jack until he was almost 6 months old which was really important to us.  We both work 12 hour shifts so we are able to be home 4 days a week which has worked out perfect for our new family.  Now that we are both back to work, Spencer’s mom provides childcare for us in our home when we are both scheduled to work.  We are fortunate to have a family member to be able to care for Jack when we are at work.  

GWK: Jack is adorable! How do you plan to celebrate his adoption finalization? 

Jack’s adoption will be finalized sometime this summer and we cannot wait!  All of our family will be at his ceremony and we are planning a BBQ and pool party to celebrate the finalization.  

GWK: What has been the most challenging aspect to juggling life with Jack and your own schedules? 

As new dads in charge of this tiny human Jack, we have to plan out any trips to the store or running errands around town. Everything and we mean everything we do now revolves around Jack.  We plan trips to the grocery store and errands depending on his last nap and the last time he ate.  We do not want to be trucking a cranky, tired Jack through the grocery store! Our world revolves around Jack and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  

GWK: Is there anything that hasn't come as a surprise for you both? Or that has?

One thing that has not come as a surprise is how much love we have for Jack.  From the moment he was born we fell in love with our little man.  We were told by so many friends and family members to be ready for lack of sleep, not showering for days and so on.  Surprisingly, Jack has been an amazing little baby.  We were more than prepared for the tough first weeks and months of his life, but we were blessed with an amazing little boy.  He is rarely fussy, always smiling and most importantly he is a great sleeper and napper.  We truly hit the lottery with Jack; he is the best baby.

GWK: Fill in the blank: "As new dads, we could not live without _________ to help us throughout the day."

Baby Brezza! It's like a Kuerig but for baby bottles!  It can make a warm bottle in under 15 seconds with the press of a button.  It is amazing!  

GWK: Tell us a little about your relationship with Jack's birth parents. How do you plan to continue the relationship?

Being that we were matched so fast with Jack’s birth parents, we sure had to get to know them fast – it felt like we were speed dating with them!  We were asked to be at the hospital when Jack was born which was great.  We were given our own hospital room right next to birth mom and we were just steps outside of her room when Jack came into this world.  We text on a bimonthly basis (sharing pictures) and try to video chat every couple months.  We recently had a visit with both birth farther and birth mother at the central coast in California and the visit went perfect.  We were able to spend about 4 hours together and it was great for them to see Jack and get to know them better.  It is important for us to keep in contact with Jack’s birthparents for Jack’s sake.

GWK: Any advice for other new dads out there?

Enjoy every single moment; it goes by so fast!  It feels like Jack was just a baby and is now almost 7 months old!

For More on Life with a Newborn:

Life with a Newborn: Nick & Chris

Life with a Newborn: Wes & Michael

Life with a Newborn: Michael & Jordi


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Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.


What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."


Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Fatherhood, the gay way

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