Gay Dad Life

Meet Gay Dads: Tony and Brian

Tony Chien and Brian Mills live in Roseland, New Jersey with their daughter. The couple met on OKCupid, have been together 5 years, and were married on August 30, 2014. Brian works in human resources at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Tony runs marketing at Atari. They both work in New York City. We caught up with the dads to see how fatherhood was treating them!


Tell us about your path to parenthood. [We chose] surrogacy. We always wanted a family and knew surrogacy was a viable option for us.

Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. The gestational surrogacy process was complex but completely worth it in the end. Starting from scratch and not knowing how to go about having a baby via gestational surrogacy was a challenging experience. We prepared ourselves by doing research online and talking to many people from various sources such as the LGBT Center in New York City and other gay men who were going through the same process. We attended seminars hosted by the organization, Men Having Babies, and also joined their Facebook group to connect with others. Speaking with fellow gays who already had a baby through surrogacy was the most inspirational because it showed us this was all possible. We had a lot of questions along the way such as figuring out which surrogacy agency and IVF doctor to use, what the best approach would be – should we transfer fresh or frozen embryos, how many embryos should we transfer and other important questions. Our first surrogate had a miscarriage at 8.5 weeks and that was devastating. That was our biggest obstacle to overcome. The miscarriage was tough on us and it took time to process our loss but we knew we still wanted to have a baby and we shouldn’t give up. We were fortunate to have more embryos and the resources to try again.

How has your life changed since you became a father? We are so happy now that our baby girl is finally with us in this world and we couldn’t imagine our lives without her. Taking care of our baby was something we had to figure out on our own, but just like many first time parents, gay or straight, you learn and get more comfortable with time and experience. Our lives haven’t really changed that much. We both still work and do the same things we did before our baby arrived, but are more homebodies now. We are fortunate that my parents live nearby and can help out and our in-laws are within driving distance.

Was there ever a moment that you or your husband experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? After our surrogate had a miscarriage in 2015 we questioned if having a baby of our own was meant to be. But after speaking with others who also experienced a miscarriage and went on to have a healthy baby, it gave us hope and inspired us to not give up.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? Our family and friends are wonderful – they are inclusive, supportive and we are very lucky. We have yet to fully venture out in public with our baby since she is still a newborn but the few times we have gone out we have not experienced any negativity.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? Our family and friends have been extremely supportive throughout our journey.

What Does She Call You? Tony is called "Baba" which is Mandarin for Dad; Brian is "Dad."

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? We hope to add another baby into our family in the next couple of years. From here on out we want to go on more adventures with our family and watch our kid (or kids) grow-up. We are excited for what the future holds!

***

Fill out this short survey to be featured in an upcoming family profile!

Read more:

With Only 48 Hours to Prepare, Rob & Zack Become Dads 

Worth the Wait: Mitch & Jake's Adoption Journey

Foster Dads Shed Selfishness, Gain a Family

 

Show Comments ()
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.

Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

In honor of Gay Uncles Day today, we reached out to Andy's many guncles to learn first-hand how their relationship with the family affects their lives. Here's what they had to say.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Pics of the Moment Before and After Gay Men Become Dads

Dig through your phones — what was the last pic taken of you BEFORE you became a dad?

We all have THAT photo: the one taken moments after we become fathers for the first time. For some of us, we're doing "skin to skin" in a delivery room. For others, we're standing proudly alongside our newly adopted child and judge in a courtroom. However or wherever it happens, though, we make sure to snap a picture of it.

But what about that last photo BEFORE you first became a dad? What does that image look like, we wondered? Well, we asked our Instagram community to dig through through phones and find out. Some of us are enjoying a last carefree meal or glass of wine, others of us are captured nervously contemplating our futures. Whatever it is, we've decided these BEFORE pictures are just as meaningful.

Enjoy some of our favorites! Want to play along? Dig through your phones and send us your pics to dads@gayswithkids.com!

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

Gay Dad in Sundance's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' is Relatable AF

Sundance hit "Brittany Runs a Marathon" stars a gay dad trying to get in shape.

Who would make for the best marathon training partner for an overweight, overly boozed 27-year-old woman? A gay dad, of course!

The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

Expert Advice

Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

We asked our Instagram community for their biggest questions about adoption. Then asked Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network to answer them.

As part of our new "Ask an Expert" series on Instagram, our community of dads and dads-to-be sent us their questions on adoption in the United States. Molly Rampe Thomas, founder of Choice Network, answered them.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

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

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