Meet Gay Dads: Bradley and Erik
Bradley and Erik live in Honolulu, Hawaii with their son, Aiden. The couple have been together 9 years, and were married on December 22, 2013. Bradley is psychiatric nurse practitioner, and Eric is a flight attendant. We recently caught up with the dads to see how life is treating them.
Where and how did you and your husband meet? We met online in April 2007, just before I moved to Honolulu. I refused to go on a date for months because I thought I was out of his league. Finally, after many months, we went on our first date December 22, 2007.
Tell us about your path to parenthood. In November 2007, I brought my nephew home with me from Wisconsin. He was two weeks old at the time. My sister was 16/17 when she had him and asked me if I would be willing to step in a provide him the home he needed. I had just moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in May 2007. Of course I agreed. In December 2007 I went on the first date with my now husband. While I was fully prepared to lead a single dad life, I was not prepared for a few things. I quickly noticed how one of the people I was dating made the quickest exit from a relationship. Then there was another guy who I had been talking to online, even before I moved to Hawaii. He kept asking me on a date and I kept refusing. Finally, on December 22 I said okay. I went on a date and I brought my son---two months old and in his carrier. It was an awesome date. We saw a lot of each other. Because I had no family, I was contemplating moving back to the mainland and here shows up a man who is not afraid of taking on this new role. In May 2008, my adoption of my son was final. He was mine. To support me, my boyfriend came to the hearing and took pictures of my son and I with the judge. December 22, 2013 we got married shortly after it was legal in Hawaii. March of 2016 we decided that we needed to finish the legal process and ensure that should anything happen to me, Aiden and Erik's relationship would be legally binding.
What Does Your Son Call You? Bradley is called "Dad." Erik is called "Baba" which is Mandarin for Dad.
Do you plan to grow your family? We tried to have more children through surrogacy in India, but they shut the process down. Once we moved our embryos to Nepal, they shut it down on the day we were supposed to transfer them.
How has your life changed since you became a father? My life changed in so many ways. I calmed my dating from many guys to just one. I focused my time and attention on my child.
What have you learned about being a dad? Patience! Honesty - we continue to share with him aspects of his family and ensure that he knows who his mother is and other family members.
Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation or gender identity? Yes, we've experienced issues in our son's elementary school. When marriage equality happened in Hawaii, Aiden found himself having to defend our relationship. We did our best to give him the tools to react appropriately.
What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing parenthood? Do it! There are so many kids out there. We have the opportunity to tell our son that we chose him. We wanted him.
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