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...



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Change the World

Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay.

In a moving video posted to Facebook, Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie finally admitted publicly something he's known since the age of 9: he's gay. Ivie, who serves as a County commissioner, is now the first openly gay Republican elected official in the state of Utah. His coming out video has already been viewed more than 25,000 times:

"There's no easy way to say this, I might as well just jump up and say it: I'm gay," Ivie says in the video. "That's my reality and that's what I need to talk to you about today."

In the video, Ivie reveals that he and his wife has separated. He refers to her as his "best friend and supporter," however, and that he is continuing to co-parent their two children with her.

"It's ok to be different, it's ok to live authentically," Ivie says in his video. "You can be gay and a Republican. You need to trust that people will love you for who you really are."

Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City's openly lesbian Democratic mayor, praised Ivie via Twitter, writing: "All the best to you, I love how a simple act of love among strangers helped you find your truth and that you are being embraced by family and friends."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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National's Pitcher Cites Wife's Two Moms as Reason for Declining White House Invite

"I think that's an important part of allyship," Doolittle said of his wife's two moms.

Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, declined an invitation to the White House after his team won the World Series this year. In an interview with the Washington Post, he listed his numerous reasons for staying home — and a main consideration, he revealed, was his wife's two moms.

"I want to show support for them. I think that's an important part of allyship, and I don't want to turn my back on them," Doolittle said during the interview.

Trump's treatment of a minority groups, generally, factored into his decision as well. "I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can't get past that stuff."

Doolitttle clarified that his decision had little to do with policy disagreements with the White House. "There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the 'shithole countries.'"

He concluded by saying he respected his teammates decision to attend the White house ceremony. "I want people to know that I put thought into this, and at the end of the day, I just can't go."

Read more of the Washington Post interview here.

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New York Will Fight 'Repugnant' Trump Rule on Adoption, Says Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York promises legal action of the Trump administration moves ahead with plans to allow discrimination against LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents — but he may face a legal fight from (former) hometown. In a tweet, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the proposed move "isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values,— it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home." If the proposal moves forward, he continued. "we'll take legal action to stop it.

Governor Cuomo's office followed up the tweet with a lengthier statement posted to their website:

Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump's proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.

No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance.

Our message to the Trump administration is simple: there is no place for hate in New York or in our nation, and we will not allow this noxious proposal to stop LGBTQ New Yorkers from becoming parents or providing care to children in need.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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