Gay Dad Life

Life with a Newborn: Christian and Brad Talk About Their Son Joe

Brad and Christian met in Denver, Colorado and have been together for over 10 years. They were legally married earlier this year in March, and they live in Mill Valley, California.

Christian, 37, and Brad, 36, always wanted to be dads. At first, they tried foster care, then adoption, but ultimately were not matched. So they turned to surrogacy. “We were extremely lucky to have found an incredible surrogate that quickly became part of our family while at the same time respecting boundaries — we really could not have had a better surrogate,” shared Christian.

Three weeks earlier than his due date, their son Joseph was born October 18, 2016. The two dads were over the moon! Joseph was 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19.5 inches and in perfect health at birth.

"The first month of Joseph’s life was amazing! There were so many firsts: first smile, first bath, first shot, first doctor’s visit. We are still in awe of this little guy that has been in our plans for years — and he was finally here!”

To help prepare for their son’s arrival, the dads-to-be had taken a newborn care class at the local hospital. Although the class didn't necessarily teach them any new skills they hadn't learned from being uncles to their nephews and nieces, it gave them an opportunity to practice swaddling, bathing and changing a diaper.

For Christian and Brad, setting up a routine for the new family was important. They were already dads to two Miniature Schnauzers; ensuring a good family dynamic from the very beginning was of the utmost importance. Both admit that doing so wasn't always easy with a newborn, but all-in-all, they agree their first month was a success.

Well before the birth of Joseph, or "Joe" as the two new dads are calling him, Christian had everything planned. Grandparents visits were scheduled, the nursery was ready, and plans for coming home from the hospital were organized well before Joe's birth.

For the first two weeks, Christian and Brad decided it was important to have a week or so to bond with Joe and get into their routine before extended family members started to descend on the new family. "I think this was huge for us," explained Christian. "It allowed us time to build up our confidence as new parents and gave us time to just get to know Joseph and for him to get to know us."

By the time the family had arrived, the two dads were able to get a little time to recharge while the grandparents helped out.

Christian and Brad were able to take three months of paternity leave, which enabled them to take shifts at night. Brad took the earlier shift, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., while Christian, a morning person, took over from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. This scheduling allowed them to both get some uninterrupted sleep each night. They also kept up their personal exercise schedule which helped keep their mind and bodies at peace.

Gays With Kids: What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?

Christian and Brad: The lack of time we are able to talk about anything other than Joseph. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes we realize that we haven’t really checked in to see how each other is doing since we are on different sleep schedules. Also, we knew we had great friends and family, but still can’t believe the amount of support we got from neighbors, friends, and family before and after his birth — we returned home from the hospital with home-cooked dinners, cakes, gifts, and a ton of love.

Gays With Kids: Anything that hasn’t surprised you about fatherhood?

Christian and Brad: The lack of sleep. Everyone told us before his birth to get a ton of sleep because we will never sleep again and even though we take shifts and Joseph is a relatively good sleeper — we are still tired most of the time.

Gays With Kids: What have been some of your most precious moments as dads?

Christian and Brad: See what new things Joseph has learned to do. A first smile, first giggle, a first whatever makes up for any fussiness or sleepless nights.

We will never forget being able to witness Joseph’s birth. Christian cut the umbilical cord and Brad was the first to hold and provide skin-to-skin — what an incredible experience that we will never forget. We will also never forget the gratefulness we felt that day and every day since for our surrogate and egg donor.

Gays With Kids: Do you have any advice to future gay dads considering surrogacy?

Christian and Brad: If you are considering building your family through surrogacy, find someone who has gone through the process. Take them out to dinner (we are always available for dinner =)) and just talk through the experience. We learned a ton through the process and are more than happy to share what we learned.

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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, dammit! 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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Gay Dad Photo Essays

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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Gay Dad Photo Essays

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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Gay Dads Forced to Flee Russia Find Refuge in Seattle

After fleeing Moscow last spring, this family of four has started new lives for themselves in Seattle.

For almost ten years, Andrei Yaganov, 45, and his husband Evgeny Erofeev, 32, managed to live a fairly ordinary life in Moscow, Russia. The two men both held down respectable office jobs. And their two sons — Denis and Yuri, now 14 and 12 respectively — went to daycare and school without issue. Despite being headed by a same-sex couple in a country with notoriously aggressive laws and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, the foursome went about their lives just like any other family.

Adoption by LGBTQ couples, like same-sex marriage, is illegal in Russia. But the couple managed to circumvent the ban by having Andrei adopt as a single parent. Andrei became only the third single man in Moscow, he was told during his placement process, to do so.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

'A Gay Man's Wife': One Couple's Co-Parenting Journey

The podcast 'A Gay Man's Wife,' explores how one woman makes her marriage to a gay man work for her — and their family.

Guest post written by Michael and Tawyne, hosts of A Gay Man's Wife

Michael: Growing up, I always knew I was different. I knew that what my family perceived as normal wasn't who I was. Only when I hit a certain maturity in my teenage years did I understand that I was gay. Still, I didn't know what that meant for me at the time. When I was 16 I met Tawyne (15) and immediately felt something that I didn't quite understand. She was wild like a tornado and captivated me. Throughout the first year of our friendship we fell in love.

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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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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