Gay Dad Life

This Couple Refused to Let Financial Restraints Keep Them From Becoming Dads

Their first date didn't go so well, but Alnardo and Anthony decided to give it another shot. Luckily they did, because it was on their second date that the sparks flew and they quickly became inseparable. That was 7 years ago. They married in December 2014. Alnardo, a dental assistant, and Anthony, a pharmacy technician, chose to create their family through adoption, and in May this year, they became dads.


Tell us about your path to parenthood. Our preferred method would have been surrogacy. Going through an agency would have cost thousands of dollars which we could not afford. We have a good friend who decided she wanted to give us the gift of a child and decided to try a in-home insemination kit we found online. A week later she was pregnant. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage at 5 weeks so we took a break from thinking about fatherhood for a year. After that we talked and thought that adoption would be the best thing for now and that we would revisit surrogacy later.

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We are both full-time employees and live a comfortable life but the cost to have a child is ridiculous for a gay couple. Agency costs, lawyer fees and home study are all things that while helpful and necessary create a great financial burden and itself is the biggest obstacle we had to overcome. It's hard to know that some people have kids and don't want them and we want kids and can't have them due to financial constraints. Fortunately we had a great support system and thanks to some donations were able to raise money for lawyer fees and home study.

How did your life change when you became a father? Before fatherhood we came and went as we pleased. We were constantly going out with friends and family, going on weekend trips and were totally spontaneous and really just went where the wind took us. After becoming fathers it's crazy how that fatherly instinct just immediately kicked in! We are more loving toward each other and suddenly things that would have gotten us angry before just don't seem to bother us now. Our communication has improved and overall having Preston in our lives have made our bond as husbands stronger.

What have you learned from your children since you became a dad? One thing that we have learned is that it is no longer about us anymore. Your priority now becomes about your children and they come first for everything. You must learn patience when they are crying and not able to tell you what is wrong.

Was there ever a moment that you or Anthony experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? The miscarriage we experienced definitely made us feel like maybe it was the universe telling us it wasn't meant to be. When we found out about the possibility of adopting a newborn I was immediately on board but I think Anthony had doubts. We only had two months to figure things out* and the way we found out was random and out the blue so we both weren't expecting the call we got. We had so many things we wanted to do before adopting and we had to sit down and have the conversation about is this really for us? Can we really do this and would the stresses of being a parent and the road to it break us apart? It wasn't an easy conversation but our faith in one another got us through it.

*Preston's birth mom is an old friend of Alnardo's and she approached him knowing he was looking to start a family. She was already 29 weeks pregnant and was unable to raise him on her own. Alnardo and Anthony had to rush to do the home study and find a lawyer.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? We have not had instances where we were treated differently. We get stares sometimes while out at a mall or supermarket but no one has dared say or do anything to make us feel any type of way.

If you did not always want kids, what happened to change your mind? I've always wanted kids. My husband didn't. He loved the idea of being a dad but couldn't picture himself raising children. His nieces and nephews are a big reason why he changed his mind. They are all so loving that it's slowly made him realize he would be a good dad.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I see us in Florida living in a beautiful home with enough property for Preston to run around in. I see Preston being a great leader in school our love and respect for one another growing.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Being a father is hard work! You will never sleep and your world will be consumed by your kids but we wouldn't have it any other way. The love you feel from this little human is immense and we feel like you will never know any other love like it. Starting the process of adoption may seem like a lot and it is and sometimes it may be a bit invasive but don't give up on your dream and know that someone somewhere has the answers to any questions you may have all you have to do is reach out.

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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

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As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

Thinking about becoming a foster parent? Check out these resources here, and visit AdoptUSKids.

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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