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

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

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Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

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Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



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"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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