Gay Dad Family Stories

Related By Love, Not Blood: Danny and Graham Adopt Collin

Some gay men know from a young age they want to become a father one day. For others, the realization happens later in life. For Danny Finkel and Graham Murphy, it was the latter. Now they're the dads of 2-month-old Collin through open adoption, and although life with a newborn can be challenging, Danny and Graham are loving their new roles as fathers.



Danny and Graham met on Gay.com over 10 years ago, and have been married since 2014. Graham works for a philanthropy consulting firm, leading a culture and talent team, and Danny is the head of strategy for one of the largest corporate travel agencies in the world.

Fatherhood came onto their radar just as their "clocks" began to tick. They discussed their plans for a year before deciding upon adoption as the best way for them to start a family.

"Everyone in our family isn't related by blood, but by love," said Graham. "Including our adopted dog, Claire."

The two men confess they got lucky, as the whole process went very smoothly and it did not take them long to be matched with a birth mom.

They were matched in February this year, and had weekly calls with their birth mom. Although they were initially hesitant about open adoption, they've formed a wonderful relationship with their birth mom, thanks in part to a unique opportunity to get to know her.

"We heard that our birth mom might go into labor early, so we traveled from Washington State to Florida, which is where she lived," explained Graham. "It turns out she delivered past her due date, so we got to spend about two weeks with our birth mom. We went to her favorite hang out spots and met her friends. It was a wonderful experience."

Danny and Graham even picked her up on the way to the hospital on the morning she was to be induced. Collin Finkel Murphy was born July 13, 2017. His dads were in the room when he was born; Danny cut the cord and both dads did skin-to-skin.

After a 48-hour hospital stay, the new dads were able to take Collin back to their apartment in Florida. Their friends had given them a baby box which Danny and Graham described as a "lifesaver" as it had all the essentials and doubled as Collin's crib for the first two weeks.

During that time, their strategy was to give one dad a full night's sleep, so they did alternate nights feeding.

"We're both morning people, so this was tough," explained Graham. "Thankfully, there's a lot of Sex and the City and Law & Order marathons that play at night!"

After two weeks, the family of three were able to fly home to Washington. They were, however, delayed at the airport by some bureaucracy and missed their first flight, but were able to catch a later one.

When they arrived home, the next two weeks were a whirlwind, not only because they were new parents. They managed to move house, tape an episode of House Hunters (due to air within the next few months) and care for a newborn. Thankfully Collin slept through most of it.

Danny and Graham both received three months paternity leave from their companies so they're staggering their leave so that Collin has at least one of his dads at home for the first six months.

They've quickly learned the realities of raising a newborn – lack of sleep, brain turning to mush, losing one's own schedule – but they're finding ways to compensate.

Graham's secret? Make lists to accomplish chores otherwise new parents forget what they intended to do.

"Your brain basically goes to mush with a baby," he explained.

They knew their lives would change as soon as Collin was born, but they're making sure they still have friends over, go for outings, and enjoy dinner out.

"We found one family-friendly restaurant near us that we've probably gone to way too often with Collin. They started to give us free stuff."

They also swear by their Merlin Magic Sleep Suit for Collin, which helps him sleep through the night. The Holy Grail for all new parents.

Even though Danny and Graham admit that Collin is a relatively easy baby, it's still been a lot of work.

"People say it is a lot of work, but they probably understate it," said Graham. "You're constantly tired and incapable of full thoughts.

"It can put a lot of stress on your relationship, so keep plenty of wine around. It turns out that your arguments are because you're tired or hungry, and then you realize we also whine and carry on just like a baby when we're hungry and tired."

One of the most precious moments for the dads has been when their 14-year-old dog (and first daughter) Claire bestowed her love upon her younger brother by giving him a lick of acceptance.

At the moment there is a big debate on when they will grow their family even further. Danny would like another child right away while Graham is tempted to wait a little. Whatever they decide, we're excited to follow this family's adventures.

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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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Gay Dad Family Stories

Traditional Surrogacy Is "Entirely Based on Trust" Says These U.K.-Based Dads

Marc and Steve pursued "traditional surrogacy," uncommon in the United States, meaning their surrogate is genetically related to their child

Marc and Steve live in Shropshire, United Kingdom. They have a four-year-old son, and are expecting twins via traditional surrogacy which is when the surrogate is both the egg donor and carrier. Here's their traditional surrogacy journey.

Together six years, Marc and Steve always wanted to be fathers, and craved a biological connection with their children. "This is why we chose surrogacy," explained Marc, "specifically, traditional surrogacy as it fitted our wants and need more; knowing our child's other genetic half was important to us."

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Boston Will Always Have a Special Place in the Hearts of These Gay Dads

Matt and Rej met in Boston and got engaged in Fenway Park. The latest chapter of their fairytale Beantown romance? Fatherhood.

Husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau met in Boston in 2013 via OKCupid. A couple years later, the two returned to get engaged in Fenway Park. And in the latest chapter in their fairytale Beantown romance, it's also where they would begin the process of becoming dads with the help of Circle Surrogacy.


Matt and Rej dated for a short time while they were both living in Boston. Once Rej's studying was complete, he returned to Canada (where he is from) and they continued their relationship long distance. In a little under a year, Matt followed his heart to Ottawa. Together they braved the cold, bought a house, and got married in October 2015, following a proposal at Fenway Park orchestrated by Rej, and including friends and family. Their loved ones watched as Rej got down on one knee on the baseball field, and asked Matt to marry him.

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Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

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.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

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."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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