Gay Dad Life

Meet New Dads: Tommy and Robert

Tommy Barraza and Robert Martin live in Orlando, Florida with their daughter, Mia Valentina. The two met through friends, and have been together for 14 years. They got married in September 2015. We caught up with Tommy, who will be "daddy," and Robert, who will be "Papi," to see how parenthood is treating them. 


Tell us about your path to parenthood. Did you consider other options? [We] tried adoption and went through the entire process paying an agency and then home study approvals etc but was just a long wait with no results so took another route with surrogacy.

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? The adoption process was so complicated. When there are so many qualified couples to adopt they make it so difficult which really makes no sense. On the IVF and surrogacy route we did have some ups and downs. Lots of preparation for the egg donor, surrogate and ourselves takes place before a transfer is done. Our first try she didn't get pregnant so we had to basically start from zero again and do another attempt. On the second try we did get both embryos to attach at 8 weeks, and heard and saw both heart beats. At the week 12 ultrasound we were told that the baby boy had passed at 9 weeks. Now we are blessed with our beautiful daughter Mia Valentina. The surrogate wanted us to still have the baby brother for Mia so we tried again for a boy recently. First try didn't work and we did a second attempt again and now she is 4 weeks pregnant with our baby boy. Still early in the game but hopefully all turns out the way it should and Mia will have her brother soon.

How has your life changed since you became a father? We have always been lucky to have a great and rewarding life but now with Mia in our lives things seem to have more of a meaning. Our day to day activities have changed, meals, leaving the house, and basically any activity we do has to now have more preparation and planning.

Was there ever a moment that you or your husband experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? And if so, what were they? How did you overcome them? Having tried both adoption and surrogacy we found ourselves with doubts and even if this was the right thing to do. We just talked things through and supported one another and now we know for sure it was all worth it!

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? To our surprise the treatment from others has been great. A rare occasional stare or comment of just ignorance here and there but everyone for the most part has been welcoming supportive and just amazing.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? Growing all stronger as a family, and doing the best we can to be outstanding citizens and role models.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? Surround yourself with family, friends and create a good support system so to make the journey easier, this way when setbacks occur or problems are encountered you have where to get advice and the help needed to pick up and keep going.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering fatherhood? Be strong, patient and don't let any obstacles stop you. No one said it would be easy but it is for sure rewarding.

***Fill out this short survey for the opportunity to be featured in an upcoming family profile!***


Read more:

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