Gay Dad Life

Doctor's Orders: Work Less, Live More

Marcelo, 30, and Pedro, 25, have been together for 7 years and were married in April 2015. Both are physicians, Marcelo specializes in emergency medicine and Pedro in radiology and they live in Brasilia, Brazil. Since their wedding, they've been trying for a family through IVF. Last year, they also went on the adoption waiting list. Today, they are new dads to their daughter Antonella, born via surrogacy on July 7, 2017.


Pedro was on vacation, casually meeting up with a friend of his at a gay bar, when would met his future husband and father to his daughter, Antonella. Still, at the bar where they first met, "we just exchanged glances," Pedro explained. The following day, however, Marcelo did some Internet sleuthing and found Pedro online. "He had asked my friend about me, so we began to talk and set up a date to get to know each other better and we discovered we had a lot in common." The two went to the same college, for example, but had never met before.

Two months after meeting in the bar, the couple became boyfriend, and things progressed from there: they moved in together, lived together for five years before they got married.

The couple have been trying to become dads since 2015, and decided to pursue fatherhood via surrogacy. "Adoption in Brazil is a lengthy and unfair process," Pedro said. Despite registering for the adoption process more than a year ago, he explained, the couple has yet to even be contacted.

Surrogacy in Brazil also has its limitations, however, in that it is permitted only "altruistically," meaning no money can exchange hands. To serve as a surrogate, moreover, you must be a close relative of one of the parents. "This is to prevent it turning into a commercial surrogacy," Pedro explained. "The surrogate needs medical approval that she is emotionally fit and, then everything must be in a contract that clearly defines everything."

So beyond the cost of surrogacy, the couple had to find a relative who was willing to serve as an altruistic gestational carrier. With few options at hand, Pedro's mother offered to serve. "The first four IVF attempts we tried with my mom, but it didn't work." Pedro explained. "So we tried with my cousin, who also offered being our surrogate." The couple had high hopes that their fifth attempt would take hold. The two were traveling when their cousin called with the news--it hadn't worked, she said.

In that moment, the couple began having second thoughts about fatherhood. "Maybe being parents would not be our destiny," Pedro said of his though process. "We decided to take a break." But when Pedro's cousin picked up the couple from the airport following their trip, she revealed it was a joke--she was, in fact, pregnant. And on July 7 2017, their daughter was born. As for Pedro's mother, she was initially sad she was unable to help out. "But nowadays, she is radiant with her first grandchild. She's the happiest grandma."

As

As medical professional, Pedro and Marcelo initially thought they were well prepared to take care of an infant. "We took care of babies during college, and all the shifts we had to stay awake," Pedro explained. "But it's totally different when is your own child. Having time for myself decreased but spending more time with my family is worth it. My new philosophy is work less, live more. Since having Antonella we have changing for the better. It's challenging but we are more than happy to live up to. My whole life I have always wanted to have a big family, and it's already starting to growing."

For other gay men considering fatherhood, Pedro has this piece of advice: "Just believe in your dream even if it appears difficult because all the good things in life won't easy. In the end, all the efforts you have made will be worth it."



**Quotes edited for clarity**

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Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

Gay Dad Life

"Fridays with Fitz": A New Kid's Book Based Upon the Son of These Two Dads

Tracey Wimperly, author of the new children's book, said she hopes to give a more honest portrayal of the role grandparents play in the lives of children.

Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Gay Dad Family Stories

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.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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