Co-parenting

These Dutch Dads Turned to the Internet to Find Their Co-Parent

After many year of trying, Lewis and René are finally dads! Their daughter, Loa, was born early January, with the help of a co-parent (Loa's mother) who they found online.

Lewis and René met 8 years ago in their hometown in The Netherlands. Within minutes of first meeting, their conversation turned to kids. The two got to know each other for about a year before they began a relationship.

Gay fatherhood in The Netherlands, like many countries around the world, requires a lot of research and planning. For René and Lewis it took 2 years before they felt ready to start try in 2014.


René (left) and Lewis on their wedding day

In the beginning, they tried to get pregnant with a close female friend as they all wanted to co-parent together. But after three miscarriages, their doctors decided to stop the process. Lewis shared with Gays With Kids that it was a difficult time for them all, but ultimately, he and René decided to not give up.

In 2015 they were married in front of friends and family.

"It was very beautiful to have our family and friends to support us during the good and bad moments," said Lewis, reflecting on his wedding. "Our dream to become fathers was bigger than ever."

In the Netherlands there is a website accredited by the government called "Meer Dan Gewenst," a community committed to members of the LGBT community who want to become parents. Lewis and René posted about their dream of fatherhood to the website and their future co-parent responded: a straight single woman. When they met in person, they had a great connection.

After a few months of getting to know one another, and completing all the necessary legal paperwork and financial preparation, they decided to begin the process. After the third attempt, the co-parenting team announced that they were expecting. On January 6, 2018, they welcomed their daughter, Loa.

Today, Lewis and René are moving from their home of Rotterdam to another town so they can be closer to their daughter's mother. They are splitting their parenting time 50 / 50. We spoke with Lewis to find out how he's finding fatherhood.


How has your life changed since you became a father? I was lucky to get few weeks off to take care of my daughter. We have just moved into our new family home. Our life is no longer about us 2 or chilling with our friends! We are finally a family :)

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? I've learned to be patient, soft, easy-going and not always in rush! I plan everything from A to Z, I'm completely a new person.

Was there ever a moment that you or René experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself. Not at all! We always dreamed about having a child. We didn't know which path to take at first but after meeting gay fathers and readying about possibilities, we were focus on our dream. It took us 4 years but it's worth the wait.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? Sometimes I see people looking at us and maybe talking behind our back. But I don't really focus on that! I want to be strong for our daughter and show people around us that we are not different than a straight couple with a child!

Lewis (left) and René

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Learn as much as possible about which parenthood path suits you and your partner best. Try to connect with couples who are in the same situation, exchange experience with them and talk to your family for the extra support! Best advice: Follow your dream and never give up, no matter what!

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I would like to have a second child. I see my family being happy and healthy. Also I would like to inspire and advise other gay men around my city in The Netherlands...



Show Comments ()
Single Parenting

Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said.

Kyle Ashworth has four kids from a previous straight relationship. After ten years of marriage, he came out to his wife. "It was the most painful and wrenching experience of my life," said Kyle. "In the cold morning hours that coming-out-day in March, I began a journey of authenticity and honesty." Today, Kyle is 36 years old and ready to live his next chapter. But before we get to that, we need to look back at what led him to where he is now: an out and proud single gay dad.

Keep reading... Show less
Coming Out

These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids.

Vincent Galvin and Richard Belward had almost parallel life journeys before they found one another. Vincent grew up in a small town with an Evangelical Christian background and was very involved in the church; Richard, also from a small town, was raised Catholic and followed the path set out for him. Both married women in their twenties and had children. Both knew they were gay. When they were in their thirties, they came out, and chose to live their authentic lives. It was then that they found each other, and ultimately, true love.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

"Still Pinching Myself": Congrats to These Gay Men on Their Recent Weddings, Births & Adoptions!

Help us congratulate the latest gay dads in our community to celebrate weddings, births and adoptions!

Wishing these dad a lifetime of happiness on their recent weddings and births! Congratulations from all of us here at Gays With Kids.

Keep reading... Show less
Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

Keep reading... Show less

Terrell and Jarius need your help. Earlier this week they were made aware of an act of discrimination against a male transgender student at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia

"Dex Frier was elected by the student body to run for prom king but is now facing backlash from the school's administration," shared the dads via their Instagram. "The school's Superintendent is forcing Dex to either run as prom queen or not run at all. This is very unjust and does NOT reflect the opinion of the parents nor the students."

Watch their video below:

Dex, 17, who came out identifying as male in his sophomore year, spoke with Gainsville Times about being nominated by the student body. "Frier said he kept his emotions in check while at school, but 'the moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I've never been shown so much support before,' Frier added."

He was later informed by school officials that his name had been withdrawn and he could only run in the prom queen ballot.

Sadly, there have been rival petitions started in support of Dex's nomination being withdrawn, and he's received backlash from those who believe he shouldn't be able to run.

Although Terrell and Jarius do not know Dex personally, they were made aware of what was happening through Jarius co-worker who is a parent at the school. "He's such a brave kid and is standing firm in his beliefs, and we should support him," said Jarius.

These dads are asking all of us to take a minute and sign this petition and share with friends and family, or anyone you think could help.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Learn How These Dads Used Social Media to Find Their Surrogate

In the latest "Broadway Husbands" vlog, Bret and Stephen discuss the rather unconventional way in which they found their surrogate: through a Facebook group.

In this, the Broadway Husbands' sixth video, Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna discuss the rather unprecedented process they went through to find their surrogate. The lucky couple also chat about winning an "Intended Parents" competition, which granted them the free services of a surrogacy agency who is now helping guide them (and their new surrogate!) on their journey.

In the first video below, get caught up to speed with the dads-to-be. Plus: there's bonus footage! Ever wondered about the financial side of their journey? In the second video, Bret and Stephen talk candidly about how they're managing to afford their dream of fatherhood.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Gay Single Dads Defend Andy Cohen's Right to Be on Grindr

After the Internet rushed to judge Andy Cohen for signing onto Grindr a couple of weeks after welcoming his newborn son home, fellow single gay dads rushed to his defense.

Last week, we wrote a post about reports that "What What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen had been "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up"

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.

Well, suffice it to say that this judgment from people who are presumably not single gay dads of Andy Cohen certainly struck a nerve with our gay dad audience! We received well over 100 comments on this post on Facebook, the vast majority of them coming to Cohen's defense. We caught up with two fellow single gay dads to find out why the story struck a nerve.

"We don't have to live like monks!"

One of the most liked comments on our piece came from Owen Lonzar, who wrote the following:

"I have always been a good single father to my biological son who came to live with me when he was 7 years old. He is now 25 years old and we are very close. I used Grindr and dated while he lived with me. I never had anyone sleep over and he certainly never saw some man he didn't know hanging around my home. Single parents have to date responsibly and with sensitivity to their child but that doesn't mean they have to live like monks!"

We asked Cohen to elaborate a bit more on why the backlash against Cohen bothered him. He had the sense, he said, that much of the criticism against LGBTQ parents comes from gay men without children. "Gay men without kids have a lot to say," he said. "And all of it is ignorant, because they have no idea what it means to actually be a father." He said he was particularly disappointed in gay critics, given our shared history of discrimination. "You would think with all the prejudice we have faced that gay men would be less judgmental themselves," he said.

"Are we supposed to be celibate?"

Another commenter, Josue Sebastian Dones-Figueroa, who is a divorced father of five, questioned what Cohen's critics would prefer him do. "So what, parents are supposed to become celibate because they have kids?" he asked.

We followed up with Josue to ask him to elaborate a bit more: "The idea that just because he is a dad that he would need to stop being a man," he said, questioning why Cohen should have to put his life hold and stop dating, or having sex, just because he's now a father. "If the child is cared for loved and not neglected what is the problem? Life goes on right?"


Fatherhood, the gay way

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

FOLLOW OUR FAMILIES

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse