Gay Dad Life

Nate and Stephen Adopted a Sibling Group of Three

Did you know that two-thirds of children in the foster care system have siblings who are also in care? And that more than 20% of children listed on AdoptUSKids have at least one sibling who is also up for adoption?

Adoption a sibling group may not be possible, or even comprehensible, for many gay dads and gay dads-to-be, but we hope that meeting the King family might encourage prospective parents to consider adopting siblings.

Nate (left, sitting) with Alicia on his lap; Stephen perched on the armchair with Aaliyah and Amari in the front

Meet Nate and Stephen

From a relatively young age, both Nate and Stephen hoped to be dads one day. Still, they wanted to have a stable home life before undertaking the journey to fatherhood.

Five years ago, Nate and Stephen met through mutual friends in Austin, Texas. They began a serious relationship, soon discussing marriage. They tied the knot on November 15, 2014.

Both Nate, 36, and Stephen, 44, wanted to create their family through domestic adoption; they knew that many kids were available for adoption in the U.S. and needed a loving home. Initially, they had thought about adopting only one child but when their agency mentioned that there was a need for parents to adopt a sibling group, they saw an opportunity to help more than one child and speed up the process. They decided to put themselves forward for a sibling group of two.

In August 2015, they became licensed foster-adopt parents in the state of Texas. But many months went by without any matching with a sibling group.

“We would get weekly profiles of various sibling groups that were in the foster care system. From there we would ask our social worker to submit our home study for consideration of placement,” said Nate and Stephen. “We went through about three to four months without any luck even though we would submit for consideration almost weekly.”

Little Daddy Stephen with Aaliyah

So Nate and Stephen went back to their agency and said that they wanted to be considered for larger sibling groups. In October of 2015, they were told about a match: a sibling group of three kids !

On February 14, 2016, they met with their children for the first time. After three meetings, with things going very well, the case study worker permanently assigned the three siblings to Nate and Stephen.

Unfortunately, the two dads-to-be ran into a roadblock when the foster mom of the three kids tried to stop the adoption, citing that the men were of a different race than the children, and that they were gay men. Thankfully, Nate and Stephen had many advocates on their side and when the matter was brought in front of a court, the judge ruled in favor of Nate and Stephen.

Overnight, they went from a family of two, to one of five: Nate, who is 6’3, became “Big Daddy”, and Stephen, who is 5’4 became “Little Daddy” to three children, Aaliyah, 6, Amari 3, and Alicia, 2.

The adoption of all three kids was finalized in August 2016.

Adoption day

How did they prepare for a sibling group?

Preparation for growing their family all at once wasn't too much of a challenge. Nate, having always prided himself on being efficient, found that garage sales were the best way to furnish the kids' bedrooms. He had everything ready before they arrived.

Nate and Stephen had also recently moved to a larger home to make room for their growing family. Each kid has their own bedroom in their new home.

Did they encounter any challenges?

Sometimes, when sibling groups are adopted, it can be difficult to bond with the children as they've become very dependent on one another and not necessarily on a parent figure. Nate and Stephen found that it worked to their advantage as the three kids all bonded with their dads simultaneously. They are now working on bonding with each child individually, but the real struggle has been getting their children to connect with other kids. This is something the dads are still working towards although it has become easier when Aaliyah, the oldest, started kindergarten. 

One challenge for the dads was trying to differentiate for the abilities and ages of each child. Even though they all arrived at the same time into their lives, it wasn’t like they had just adopted triplets. Communication was different between Amari and Alicia, even only being a year apart. They had to find activities for Aaliyah, and communication techniques that worked for Alicia as she was still being potty trained when she came to them. Trying to work it out simultaneously was the difficult part.

Big Daddy Nate with Amari

How did their extended families react?

For the most part, Nate and Stephen's families were supportive of their decision to grow their family and adopt a sibling group. Many had had a wait-and-see approach, but when the adoption was finalized, both families were excited, but overwhelmed as well. Some thought they were in over their heads, but most knew to keep any disparaging comments to themselves, shared Nate and Stephen.

The best thing about adopting a sibling group?

This family of five could not be happier. That doesn’t mean they got everything all figured out; they are learning, day by day.

"Everyday there are learning opportunities," shared Nate. "Everything you think you know ends up changing. Don't create expectations and live each obstacle as it comes, and expect the unexpected. Always."

But they do know this. The best thing is endless hugs and kisses. “When they hold you and you feel strong because they know they are safe in your arms.”


Read another wonderful real life story of a two dads adopting a sibling group


Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

"Worth Every Blood, Sweat, and Tear": Congrats to Gay Dads on Recent Births and Adoptions!

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

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

Keep reading...

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

Despite this mundanity, her family remained something to marvel at for much of her youth. When the family moved into a new neighborhood in 2006, it made the local newspaper, with a headline titled, "Gay Father Tests Tolerance in the Park Cities."

She and her siblings have spent much of their lives, she explained further, having to respond to the question: what's it like having two gay dads? For Langbert, there is only one correct response, which is: Amazing! "Any other response, even if simply accounting for a family's nuanced experience, might as well be an outright admission of failure on behalf of the entire LGBTQ community," she wrote.

Children of the 'Gayby Generation,' are also put in the position of having to come out on behalf of their parents, and "often with mixed results," she wrote. She gave the following anecdote as an example:

"My father was asked to step down from his leadership position in my brother's Boy Scout troop on account of his sexuality. Even though my siblings and I were only fourth graders at the time, we understood that our family was under strict scrutiny, and that even the slightest misstep could beget severe consequences for how competent our fathers were perceived as being. In the face of this pressure, the first generation of 'gaybies' recognized the importance of presenting their families as perfect; doing otherwise would only present ammunition to those already dubious about the rights of LGBTQ parents to raise children."

The entire article, which includes the perspectives of multiple now-grown kids that are part of the "Gayby generation," is well worth a read, which you can access here.


Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."


Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Image: NWSC Clients

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse