Gay Dad Life

Meet Gay Dads Josh and Joey aka the Property Gays

Within an hour of meeting one another and chatting, two young men realized they shared a dream: becoming dads one day. During the next three years, they worked hard to realize that dream, earning and saving enough money to afford the expensive adoption fees. How did they do this? They flipped houses! Meet the gay dads who call themselves the Property Gays.


A Novel Way to Save

Josh was a credit strategist and Joey was working at Carvana when they met on a gay dating app in July 2013. They started messaging each other; then they began speaking on the phone. On their first date, two days later, it was a kiss that sealed the deal – one that Joey describes as "something straight from a movie." Everything happened in quick succession after that kiss: They professed their love for one another, exchanged keys to their apartments and within months they even made wedding plans. August 30, 2017 will be their third wedding anniversary!

For Josh, 32, and Joey, 31, becoming dads was the next obvious step, and they already knew that they wanted to pursue adoption. Now they needed to make sure they had saved enough money to cover the adoption fees. They began the adoption process in May 2015, just after they sold their first home to help raise capital.

Kitchen renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

Despite neither of the dads-to-be having much experience of renovating prior to 2015, both had a passion for interior design. Josh is also a licensed real estate agent (since 2010), so he'd had quite a bit of experience in the field from working with clients. Over the next two years, it became a secondary business for them as they honed their skills; Josh initially was more the designer and finder of the homes, but now Joey began to take on that role as well.

In the past 18 months, they have purchased, renovated and sold three homes!

People often say that flipping houses is very a stressful pastime. So, how did a newlywed couple handle the stress of buying, renovating and selling, AND the adoption process?

Living and dining room renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

"Alcohol. Kidding, not really," shared Joey. "We definitely have had our moments of pure frustration and anger but we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It allowed us to make a significant amount of money in a short period of time to afford the big chunk of money we have to put down towards adoption costs."

They knew that their hard work would pay off and get them closer to their dream of having a family.

On the Road to Adoption

Soon they signed with LifeLong Adoptions in California, an agency specializing in LGBT adoptions. The agency connected them with a birth mother not long afterwards, but despite their best efforts the adoption didn't happen. Ultimately, the mother decided to keep her child. It was a difficult time for Joey and Josh, because despite the agency's warnings, they had already grown very attached.

Joey (left) and Josh with Myles

But things seemed to work themselves out, eventually. In February 2016, they were matched again, to a birth mom in Alabama. The next three months were frantic as the dads-to-be were moving into their next home, and trying to build a relationship with the birth mom, Ashley*, who was on methadone and required daily trips to the clinic. In order to prevent unnecessary stress to the birth mother and the baby, the aspiring dads paid for all those trips. For a while, the birth mom's boyfriend claimed to be the baby daddy and tried to extort Josh and Joey for more money. That paternity claim, thankfully, was false, and so the problem vanished, although it nearly came to a breaking point when Joey and Josh wondered whether to continue this journey with this birth mom.

It was Ashley who knew that her child was going to have a better life with Joey and Josh, and for that reason she never wavered from her decision for them to adopt.

Daughter Myles was born five and half weeks early, on May 25, 2016, after a death scare. Ashley's placenta erupted and Myles was born 32 minutes later by an emergency c-section – Ashley and her unborn baby almost died! Fortunately, Ashley and Myles recovered quickly. And there was more good news: Myles showed no typical methadone withdrawal or side effects. When Myles was born, Joey decided to become a full-time dad. The adoption was finalized September 2016.

Despite being close with Ashley during the last four months of the pregnancy, Joey and Josh have lost contact her recently. They know she is going through a difficult time and are ready to reestablish a relationship with her when she's ready. Ashley has entered rehab and has been struggling since October. Josh and Joey wish her the best. They remain close with Ashley's sister who is currently caring for two of Myles' brothers and they are thriving under her care.

Ready for More Kids?

Today the gay dads are in their fourth house, and might be in their fifth house come spring. They have also taken steps to adopt again. This time they're using Adoption Information Services, an agency closer to their home in Atlanta, Georgia. Although they recommend LifeLong Adoptions, both Josh and Joey wanted to try an agency close enough to make face-to-face conversations possible. Moreover, this agency acts more as a third party to help alleviate some of the more difficult steps of the adoption, such as the revocation period. For Myles' adoption, there were five very stressful days when Ashley could have changed her mind about the adoption. Now, their new agency works only in states where the revocation period is 48 hours.

"We do want more children," said Joey. "I think four would be an ideal number, but we are taking a break after two. In the future we would like to try surrogacy, but if that is not an option, we will definitely adopt again."

Bathroom renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

From their very successful side project of flipping homes, they have been able to fund one adoption and have started their second. The dads admit the drawbacks of flipping homes is definitely the stress of moving and packing, but both agree that nothing beat renovating a home and then living in it. Sure, there have been times that they just had to walk away from one another. Moving everything you own to a new house is hard. They also have three dogs, five fish and a baby. Sometimes moving becomes even more challenging when the new house doesn't have a functioning kitchen yet! However, the happy ending to their emotional roller coaster of an adoption journey makes every low bearable and every high more incredible.

Josh and Joey are so proud and excited to be Myles' Dada and Daddy first, and the Property Gays second.

*Ashley is not the birth mother's real name.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

"Worth Every Blood, Sweat, and Tear": Congrats to Gay Dads on Recent Births and Adoptions!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

"This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

Keep reading...
Change the World

Your Marriage Should Be Gayer, Says the New York Times

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," lists the many insights LGBTQ marriages can offer straight ones.

According to a fascinating op-ed in the New York Times this week by Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," turns out the people convinced marriage equality — legal across the United States for five years now — would usher in the complete breakdown of civil society should be more worried about the health of their own marriages.

In the article, Coontz details the results of research that followed 756 "midlife" straight marriages, and 378 gay marriages, and found same-sex couples reporting the lowest levels of physiological distress — with male gay couples reporting the lowest. The reason for this, the author said, is pretty simple — misogyny. The idea that men and women should strive for parity in a relationship is still a fairly new idea, Coontz said, and traditional gender roles are still pervasive. Gay couples, meanwhile, are free from such presumptions, which often results in happier, healthier relationships.

The most interesting findings in the research relate to parenting. While gender norms tend to be even more emphasized among straight people once they have children, with the bulk of the childrearing falling to mothers, same-sex couples — once again freed from the stereotypes of the male/female divide — parent more equitably. As the author notes, "A 2015 survey found that almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And a whopping 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples."

When it comes to time spent with children, men in straight marriages spent the least amount of time and the lowest proportion of "nonwork" time, with their children — while men in same-sex marriages spent just as much time with their children as women in a straight relationship. "The result?" Coontz writes, "Children living with same-sex parents experienced, on average, three and a half hours of parenting time per day, compared with two and a half for children living with a heterosexual couple."

Straight fathers devote the least amount of time — about 55 minutes a day — on their children, which includes things like physical needs, reading, playing, and homework. Gay mothers spent an additional 18 minutes each and straight mothers an additional 23 minutes. Gay fathers spent the most time with their children, the study found, an average of an additional 28 minutes a day.

Taken together, straight couples spend an average of 2 hours and 14 minutes on their children. Lesbian moms spend an additional 13 minutes, while gay men spend 33 more minutes than straight couples.

One factor, the author notes, that can help explain this difference is this: gay parents rarely end up with an unintended or unwanted child, whereas a full 45% percent of pregnancies in straight relationships in 2011 (the last year data is available) were unintended, and 18% were unwanted.

But right. Gay people shouldn't be parents.

Single Parenting

The 'Strange Dichotomy' of Dating as a Single Gay Dad

A single gay dad describes the balancing act involved with dating after having come out later in life.

It was a Friday morning as I walked towards the twins' bedroom door, and I caught the dreaded whiff. The unmistakable smell of fecal funk. My heart sank — I knew exactly what awaited me on the other side. As I cracked the door open, my assumptions were immediately confirmed. Our resident two-year-old "scat princess", a.k.a. Maren, had pried off her poopy diaper and painted her bedroom walls and doors in her own excrement for the third time in as many weeks. I couldn't decide if I wanted to scream or cry. Fortunately my dad superpowers immediately took over and I did neither. I simply gritted my teeth, smiled, threw open the door and uttered "good morning, girls!" I spent the next hour giving the toddlers, the walls and the doors a Silkwood scrub-down. Again.

Fast-forward twelve hours later. The kids were safely with their mom for the weekend, and I was out on a date with a handsome guy I met on Tinder. The trauma from earlier in the day a mere, faint memory. This was the strange dichotomy of my life as a single gay dad. Balancing dating in the midst of coming out later in life, never mind the whole parenting thing, is a struggle. And, one that nobody really talks about.

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse