Gay Dad Life

After Countless Rejections, Sean and Lee Bring Home Twins

Sean and Lee Chetwyn-Horan were introduced to one another through Lee's younger brother, Nathan, and were friends for 2 years before starting a relationship. They have been together 5 and a half years, and were married August 22, 2016. Sean, a civil servant, and Lee, a special needs teacher, live in Liverpool, U.K. with their two adopted children, Arlo and Cleo. We caught up with the dads to find out how they were enjoying fatherhood.


Tell us about your path to parenthood. Did you consider other options? We felt we didn't really have any other options when we realised just how many children were in the care system in the UK. Surrogacy was never an option for us due to the cost implications here in the UK.

Cleo and Arlo

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We went through the adoption process for 9 months, which is standard regardless of orientation. However, it took the social services 20 months to place a child with us. We asked for feedback on why we were being pipped at the post by other adopters but we felt we weren't given credible, constructive feedback. This made us feel inadequate as gay adopters. We were told off the record that straight adopters were chosen over us on more than one occasion. As a couple, We made a complaint to the children's services manager and we were immediately invited to attend a meeting where our profile was reviewed. Within a few months of making the formal complaint about suspected unconscious bias/homophobia we were placed with our beautiful twins!

How has your life changed since you became a father? Life for us was good before we adopted. We both work full time and spent our spare time with our friends socialising and attending festivals. But we were ready for kids and had been for so long. I don't think you can really prepare for becoming a father and it was quite overwhelming at first. The first few weeks were challenging as we were adapting to the twins and their routines and their needs etc, and also getting used to the lifestyle change. But now, 5 months on, we feel like we have nailed it. Each day Arlo and Cleo are growing and learning and so are we with them. We still socialise with our friends but in different ways- mainly for breakfast and lunch instead of going to a bar or a club. We have even taken our twins to a few festivals already. We feel like our life has been given a new meaning since we adopted. We feel fulfilled and are so much happier than we were before- which we didn't think was possible as we were so happy before too.

What have you learned from your children since you became a dad? They have taught me that I can be a morning person! When I hear their little voices on the baby monitor of a morning, It's the best sound in the world and I now love getting up to see them. Every day gets more and more exciting!

Was there ever a moment that you or Lee experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? With the adoption/ matching process taking so long and with us facing so many rejections from children's social workers, we did feel we weren't good enough. After about a year we did discuss maybe leaving it and trying again in a few more years, possibly when attitudes towards same sex adopters have changed. However, we did continue to look and it paid off.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? Up to now (touch wood) we haven't experienced any prejudices. Everything we have experienced from strangers or on hospital visits, shopping etc has been positive. Even before we adopted, we were never faced with any animosity as a gay couple.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I see us even bigger than now, with maybe a younger brother or sister for Arlo and Cleo, and possibly living abroad which is something Lee and I have discussed also. Canada specifically, where Lee has family.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering adoption? We have so many gay couples as friends who want to adopt but they are apprehensive because of they feel there is a stigma still attached to gay adopters. I advise them that they should pursue it and don't let their own preconceptions hold them back, like it almost did us.

Anything else you'd like to share? Only that until you have experienced it, there is now way to describe becoming a parent. To have two little babies depending on us for everything means the world to me and I feel like my life has a new meaning to it. It's the best feeling in the world!

Read more:

Two Dads in Search of Community in Asia

Our Most Liked Instagram Post Ever!

Being Gay Didn't Hold These Men Back From Becoming Dads

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

8 Ways for Dads to Find Work/Life Balance

Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

'NolaPapa' Launches YouTube Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

Check out Erik Alexander's new YouTune Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

I decided to launch our YouTube channel Nolapapa: Story of a Gay Dad to focus on this very topic! Episodes 1-5 will solely be dedicated to learning how to wash, care for and styling African American hair. Afterwards, the content will shift towards personal & family situations, adoption, gay parenting questions and other great content! I'd love your support and become part of our little village as we launch this new project!

Sending Nola love to each of ya!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Encouraged by His Son, Single Dad Richard Started Dating Again — and Just Got Married!

After his 14 year relationship ended, Richard got a gentle push into the dating pool from an unexpected source — his son!

In 2014, Richard Rothman's relationship of 15 years ended, leaving him understandably reluctant to jump back into the world of dating as a single gay dad. But after spending one too many Friday nights at home, he got a gentle nudge from somebody unexpected —his teenaged son, Jonathan.

"Dad," Jonathan said. "Would you just get out of the house and go on a date already?" (You may remember wise-beyond-his-years Jonathan from this post that went viral of a tattoo he got commemorating his adoption day.)

On his son's encouragement, Richard started dipping a tentative toe back into the dating pool. In 2015, he met Kevin thanks to mutual friends that introduced them via social media. It took four months before Richard introduced Kevin to his son, who was a Sophomore in high school at the time.

On New Year's Eve in 2017, Kevin proposed while the couple was vacationing in Palm Springs. The city has an outdoor festival every year, he explained, which the couple attended. The band Plain White T's happened to be performing their hit "Hey There Delilah" as Kevin got down on one knee and proposed. "Now whenever I hear that song it brings back memories of that night," Richard said.

Richard and Kevin married on March 30, 2019 back at the scene of the crime — in Palm Springs, at the Frederick Loewe Estate. Jonathan was Richard's best man, and also walked him down the aisle (awwww.....). Kevin's brother Bobby served as his best man.

"As so many wonderful moments continue to happen for us in Palm Springs, we now own a home there in addition to our primary residence in Bentonville, Arkansas," said Richard.

Check out video from the couple's special day below!


And Jonathan is now an E4 Master-at-Arms in the US Navy.

Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

#2. 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. Read the article here.

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

#4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. 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. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. 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. Read the article here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse