Gay Dad Life

Three Open Adoptions Later, These Dads Don't Regret a Thing

Matthew and David are what one might call high-school sweethearts. They met through a mutual friend in 2002 when Matthew was a junior in high-school and David was a freshman in college. They've been together 15 years, and were married October 18, 2013. A year earlier, the also became dads for the first time. Today, they have three beautiful kids through open adoption, which they can't recommend enough. Read about how this family is balancing open adoption, travel, and making time for one another.


Matthew and David always knew they wanted to adopt and have created their family through three open adoptions.

"Open adoption was even better than we expected!" shared the dads. "We now have a huge extended family!"

David (left) and Matthew with Finn

Matthew and David are very open and honest with their children about their adoption and their birth family. They've done this through keeping an open dialogue with their kids, and also creating an adoption book with family photos. Miles, their eldest who is 5 years old, is very aware of his adoption story and his birth family; he even sometimes refers to his birth parents as "birth mom" or "birth dad."

They keep in touch by texting the birth parents several times a week, sharing photos on a website every other month, and meeting in person 2-4 times a year. Their adoption agency also hosts an annual event for birth parents and adoptive families to get together.

"It's been great to see our birth families connect with one another. We often combine visits into one big one."

The dads are very thankful for the enormous role their adoption community and agency has played with their family, as it hasn't always been easy. Although Miles was adopted in 2012, it took another 3 years before they successfully adopted their second child, Ava,. They adopted Finn in 2017.

"We had two potential adoptions where we were caring for the babies in the hospital, and then the birth parents chose to parent," explained Matthew. "It was a difficult time, but we learned from those experiences."

It was heartbreaking for the two dads but they also decided to learn from them. They were reminded that things happen for a reason and three of their children eventually found their family for which they are so thankful.

One of the family's favorite things to do is travel.

"Our kids are pretty easy going when it comes to traveling," said Matthew, "We have brought them along for most of our adventures since they were born."

The family has a house in Costa Rica and it's the dads' favorite place to go, relax, and spend time together. They hope to travel even more when the kids are a little older.

"Exposing our children to different landscapes, cultures and experiences is really important to us."

And although these family trips are very special, Matthew and David also ensure they're making time for themselves. They do this by having a date night once a week, or a dinner date at home, as well as a week or weekend away every year, just the dads. They also run a lot.

"We have learned it makes us both better husbands and better parents," said Matthew and David. "Running is our escape and therapy to help us unwind."

Matthew ("Dad" or "Dr. Matt") and David ("Daddy David") always knew that adoption was the right path for them, and open adoption could not be going better for this family. That, along with the travel and making time for each other as husbands, makes this family so strong.


Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

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.



Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

Gay Dad Life

"Fridays with Fitz": A New Kid's Book Based Upon the Son of These Two Dads

Tracey Wimperly, author of the new children's book, said she hopes to give a more honest portrayal of the role grandparents play in the lives of children.

Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

Keep reading... Show less
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."

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

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.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse