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"Intoxicating and Unforgettable"; Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Grew in March!

This month's Congrats post was brought to you by Choice Network in Ohio. Choice Network is a national leader in LGBTQ adoption.

We're celebrating adoption finalizations, births, and even an engagement for two gay dads. We're continuously thrilled to share our community's wonderful news!

Congrats dads!

This month's Congrats post was brought to you by Choice Network in Ohio. Choice Network is a national leader in LGBTQ adoption. They have a goal of 50% of their families being created with LGBTQ people. "It is our core value that love makes a family." We're thrilled to be partnering with Choice Network to offer our congrats to dads whose families grew this month!


Congratulations to dads Jake and Tom on the birth of their son Connor!

Jake and Tom grew their New Orleans family by one, joining big sister Isabel, and welcomed their son Connor on February 28 via surrogacy.

"This surrogacy journey was quite the rollercoaster," said Jake. "It took three attempts to have an embryo that made it to a successful pregnancy. After that things were going well until 13 weeks of pregnancy when we were told he had an extremely enlarged bladder and he was unlikely to survive." The dads were heartbroken. They had another ultrasound at 15 weeks that showed the same thing. "We were completely devastated but had an incredible surrogate who was very supportive. While thinking about our options we asked for one more ultrasound at 16 weeks and everything had resolved! We were told that this was extremely rare and had multiple repeat ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy that were all normal. When they handed Connor to us in the delivery room it was almost unreal as he looked perfect and peed immediately after delivery. He's a baby that could have very easily never have made it, but somehow survived the odds."

Connor's dads completely adore him and they love watching how excited Isabel gets at everything he does. "He really completes our family."

Congratulations to dads Jason and Charlie for finalizing the adoption of their daughter Amelia!

Jason and Charlie began their journey into fatherhood by being foster parents to two perfect little boys. After they returned home, they decided to close their home because of the emotional toll the foster journey took on their lives. The boys went home on a Saturday; the following Monday, they received a message from a friend that she wanted help finding adoptive parents for her newborn. "We went and visited her in the hospital on Tuesday night, and Amelia came home with us on Thursday!"

Although the two were engaged in 2017, they hadn't gotten married when they brought Amelia home. "To avoid step-parent adoption, we went ahead and wedded the following Thursday and filed for adoption," shared Jason. "We finalized adoption on February 13, just in time to celebrate our new little love for Valentine's Day."

"The final adoption day was incredibly overwhelming for both of us," said Charlie. "We realized early on that we wouldn't be able to adopt for various reasons, but this little bundle of joy showed up and changed our lives. To be able to file for adoption and be married on the same day in Oklahoma, of all places, was an incredible realization that the world around us is changing for the good, and we have a tiny miracle to prove it."

Congratulations to Tim and Damien on the adoption finalization of their son!

New Hampshire dads Damien and Tim welcomed son Aury through adoption in August last year, and on February 22, they finalized his adoption.

"Although we knew there would be no issues, the day Judge Weaver finalized our adoption was amazing. As we celebrated with family and friends, we both breathed a huge sigh of relief when Judge Weaver said, 'This adoption is now considered final, and you should celebrate. Feel free to clap and cheer for the family.' And, our support system did just that! Our little lion man is 100% ours, and we couldn't be happier."

Congratulations to Aaron and Rick on the birth of their youngest daughter Aurora!

Born on Valentine's Day, Aurora truly is the best present these dads could've hoped for!

Aurora was brought into this world via surrogate. "My amazing younger sister Lezlie gave us this beautiful gift and bringing her home is a dream realized for both of us," said Rick. This is Aaron's first biological child, and Rick's third. He has two older daughters, Isabella and Audrina, 13 and 10 respectively. "They are head over heels in love with their baby sister," said Rick.

This awesome family of five lives in Jurupa Valley, California.

Congratulations to Gary and Jack on the birth of their first child, Frankie!

On Valentine's Day, Gary and Jack welcomed their first child, Frankie, via infant adoption.

"We are over the moon!" shared Jack.

The two have been together for over nine years and married for 2 and a half. "We've always dreamt of starting a family together and decided to grow our family through infant adoption. It was quite the rollercoaster of a journey- filled with ups and downs. We're so grateful for our village of family and friends who supported us along the way. We're especially thankful for all the dads who have blazed the trail before us, showing us that our dreams of starting a family were possible."

Holding Frankie for the first time was "magical" for the dads. "All of the stress and anxiety of the adoption process instantly melted away, leaving us awestruck and madly, deeply in love."

Congratulations to Mike and Doug on the birth of Grayson!

Mike and Doug have been together for 7 years and decided they wanted to be dads many years ago. After looking at the different options, they decided adoption was the right choice for them.

And on Monday March 18, they received a call about their son Grayson.

"When we first held Grayson, it felt like every wonderful emotion poured from our hearts, while the weight that had held us for so long in anticipation had been lifted," shared Mike. "It was intoxicating and unforgettable."

We're so excited for this Baltimore family of three!

Congratulations to dads David and David on their recent engagement!

We're thrilled to share that David Stephens and David Becerra got engaged on March 13!

"He proposed during dinner on the beach at the Ritz Carlton Cancun," shared dad of two, David S. "It was very romantic. I've been married before and I had always maintained that I'd never do it again. He took a chance with me as he always does and I had no choice but to say yes. That man brought me out of a very dark time and he forever has my heart for doing that and he loves me because I gave him the courage to come out of the closet and be his true self."

"You could say we saved each other. With him I feel like anything is possible even a successful marriage."

So very happy for David S. and David B. and your beautiful family!

Love makes good families. Whether traditional or non-conforming to historically accepted definitions of family - we accept you. If you are ready and willing to participate in open adoption and honoring the pregnant person who has chosen you, you are welcome here. It's that simple. We also will fight for you. Choice Network does not shy away from hate. We are armed with well documented research, honest stories of our own, and the inherent truth that love makes good families.

We proudly carry the Human Rights Campaign status of Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Families!

Visit Choice Network's site

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Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Only so much growth and learning can occur when we limit ourselves to our fears. If people never did anything they were afraid to do, life would be incredibly boring and far too predictable. At some point we must face the things we fear and just go for it not knowing what will happen next.

After finally coming out to my ex-wife after ten years of marriage (see previous articles for that story), and eventually telling my family I knew there was one more step I needed to make.

I am a business owner. I am a structural chiropractor and am highly specialized in my field. Nearly four years ago I opened my own clinic, Horizon Chiropractic Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. I poured my whole heart, body, and soul into the creation of my practice and its growth. Opening a business fresh out of school is no simple task and I worked hard to build my practice with close relationships and word of mouth referrals. I established myself as an expert and built a strong reputation as a family man, and my ex-wife and kids were the face of my practice.

I loved and do love every person who has ever come into my office and treat them like family. We laugh together during visits, celebrate wins, cry together, often hug, and cheer each other on regarding various things in our life. That's also a large part of who I am: a people person. I enjoy spending quality time with those I am privileged to help. No one comes in my office and only sees me for 2-5 minutes.

Even though there was so much good that I had built into my brand and reputation fear eventually found its way into my business too. I was afraid of what would happen if people found out the truth. Would they be okay with having a gay chiropractor? Would they still trust me to be able to help them? Of course, the story in my head I was telling myself was much bigger and badder than it needed to be.

When we decided to get a divorce, I felt strongly that I needed to face these fears and begin telling a number of patients the truth of what was happening in my life. I know in reality it is no one's business but my own. However, I felt like I needed to let my patients who had become like family to me truly see me for who I am, and who I always was. And so slowly, case by case, I began to tell a select number of people.

I'll never forget the first patient I told. She had been coming in for years and was bringing her son in to see me who is on the autism spectrum. It was the day after my ex-wife and I decided to get a divorce and she could tell something heavy was on my mind. I eventually came out to her. The first words out of her mouth were "I am so proud of you!" We cried and hugged and it was the complete opposite of what I ever expected. And it was perfect. I felt loved. I felt accepted. I felt seen.

As time went on it got easier. And overall the responses were all completely positive and supportive. Out of all the patients I told and those who found out from other circles, only three stopped coming in to see me. Since coming out, my office has grown tremendously. My reputation hasn't changed. If anything, it's solidified. I can't help but think that part of that is due to finally embracing all of me and allowing others the same opportunity.

I read somewhere once that you never really stop coming out of the closet. And I've noticed that too. Sure, not everyone needs to know; it isn't everyone's business. And I hope that one day we live in a time period where fear doesn't prevent anyone from being seen. I want to contribute to the upward trajectory I think our society is headed of understanding, acceptance, support, and equality.

I would love to be able to say that after coming out publicly I no longer feel fear; but I do. And I think in some ways I always will no matter what. But that's part of life, right? Recognizing fear when we have it but then choosing to move forward out of love – love for others, but maybe more importantly love for ourselves.

Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Asks: Is Destroying an Embryo Similar to Abortion?

It's a question many LGBTQ parents using advanced fertility treatments will need to face — what to do with "left over" embryos.

Let me start off by saying that I have always been pro choice and support all laws that allow people to have full reproductive rights including safe and legal abortions. This is a complicated subject and not one that I ever thought I would really have to deal with on a personal level, especially being a gay man.

I remember a very heated discussion on abortion in my biology class back in university. I was young, idealistic and had very strong convictions about abortion. I was debating with a female classmate who was pro life. She felt there was no reason for an abortion ever, not even if raped by your own parent or sibling. I could not really understand her position, then or now. Don't get me wrong, I still don't agree with her, but now that I'm older and wiser, and also a parent, I have come to respect and accept opinions other than mine.

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Interested in Surrogacy? Check Out These Bay Area Events This Weekend

If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, two major events are happening that will be of interest for dads-to-be and surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF)

If you're in San Francisco or the surrounding area, clear your calendar this weekend. Two events are happening simultaneously that are significant for dads-to-be AND surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF). For an outlines of both events, check out below.

Keep reading...
News

Gay Dads Show Up at Boston Event to Drown Out Anti-Trans Protesters

When Trystan Reese found out protesters were planning to show up to an event in Boston he was presenting at, he put out a call to his community for help — and gay dads showed up.

A couple months ago, Trystan Reese, a gay, trans dad based in Portland, Oregon, took to Instagram to share a moving, if incredibly concerning, experience. Reese, who works with Family Equality Council, was speaking at an event in Boston, and learned before his appearance that a group of protesters were planning to attend.

"As a trans person, I was terrified to be targeted by anti-LGBTQ people and experienced genuine fear for my own safety," Trystan wrote. In response, he did what many LGBTQ people would do in a similar situation — reach out to his community in Boston, and ask for their support. "And they came," he wrote. But it wasn't just anyone within the LGBTQ community that came to his defense, he emphasized — "you know who came? Gay men. Gay dads, to be exact. They came, ready to block people from coming in, ready to call building security, ready to protect me so I could lead my event. They did it without question and without reward. They did it because it was the right thing to do."

Keep reading...
Change the World

Gay Dads Use 'TikTok' To Fight for Acceptance

Kevin and Ivo are fighting to normalize LGBTQ parents through TikTok, a growing social media platform

"Are we fearful we're going to turn our son gay?" Kevin DiPalma, a red-bearded man, asks the camera.

"No!" says Kevin's son, Nasim, says

"Are we worried about bullies when he gets to school?" Kevin asks next.

"Yes!" Nasim said.

Thus is the nature of the videos Kevin and his husband Ivo upload to their TikTok account, a widely popular and rapidly growing social media platform among young people.

Within 6 months, the family had 200,000 followers across their social media.

See a complication of some of their videos below!


Fatherhood, the gay way

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