Originally published May 2017.
They may not be "mom" but as Mother's Day approaches, these gay dads are giving thanks to the birth mothers, surrogates, egg donors, and other women in their lives who helped make them dads. Enjoy the touching photo essay below, and then be sure to check out our feature story this week, "Mother's Day the Gay Dad Way."
Richard and Carlos with son Devon, Marietta, Georgia
"Tye'kiah, thank you for giving us the joy of a lifetime with our son Devon. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making our family a reality."
Eric and Douglas with daughter Alli Mae, New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo credit: BSA Photography
"To our beautiful birthmother, Douglas and I are so very grateful to the universe for allowing us all to cross paths. You have changed our lives in such a profound way, and for that, you will forever be in our hearts. Love, Eric, Douglas and Allie Mae Alexander"
Salim with his son Felix, London, United Kingdom
"You are an anonymous donor whom I know only as 'Ali', but you are also my best friend in the world. Wherever you are, I hope you know that together we created something beautiful. Thank you."
Michael and Wes with daughter Talulah, Hagley, United Kingdom
"To our amazing Surrogate and to our Egg Donor. Thank you for making our hope and dreams come true, giving us our gorgeous Talulah. Happy Mothers Day! Love, Michael, Wes and Talulah. Xx"
Jean and Tom with son, Augustine, and surrogate, Ann, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"Dear Ann, it is difficult to put into words the gratitude we feel for you but we will give it a shot! What you've done for us is beyond measure and without this gift of life it would not have been possible for us to start building a loving family, of which you continue to be an integral part. We love you to the universe and beyond! Augustine, Tom and I are very lucky to have you and your boys in our lives."
Jose with his three kids, New York, New York
"Natasia, literally and figuratively, you delivered more life into my world with 3 beautiful little angels. As a single dad, my life would be much different without them. A perfect match, I'll always be grateful for our journey together."
Nathan and John with daughters Brynn and Emery, North Bay, Ontario, Canada
"Brynn and Emery look up to their Grandma, Nana and Aunties as strong female figures! We give thanks to our moms, Betty and Odette, and our sister and sisters in law for being such amazing female role models for our two little girls."
Brian and Ferd with their kids Levi, Sadie and Ella, New York, New York
"Our lives changed forever when we took Levi, Sadie and Ella into our arms and hearts. On Mother's Day, we thank the women without whose help our family would never have come to be: Levi's birth mother, and Sadie and Ella's surrogate and egg donor."
Sæþór and Ágúst with their son Daníel, Reykjavík, Iceland
"Happy Mother's Day, Lauren. You are our favorite mother! Hope you and the girls have a lovely day."
David and Alex with their son Maxwell, Los Angeles, California
"Dear birth mom, on this Mother's Day, we want to thank you for giving us the greatest gift we could have ever received. Maxwell is a genuine, creative and kind soul - it's easy to see where he gets it from. Happy Mother's Day — we will always love you. Love, Dave, Alex & Maxwell."