Gay Dad Family Stories

Nic and Ross: A Relationship Blessed by Singer Adele

At an Adele concert in Barcelona, the famous singer called Nic and Ross up on the stage. In front of thousands of screaming fans, Ross proposed to Nic.

Six years ago, on a Friday night in Cape Town, South Africa, at a casual dinner party, Ross Levin, then 36, met Nicholas Markovitz. Ross, a property developer – and a dead ringer for Liev Schreiber – had been married to a woman and was the father of two teenage kids. Nic was a 30-year-old marketing and promotions professional with more than a passing resemblance to Matt Bomer.

There was an immediate attraction between the two men. And a connection: They were both Jewish. They became an item almost instantly. And it was only three days after that dinner party that Nic told Ross, "I think I love you."


Adele, Ross and Nic

Ross reciprocated the feeling. A few years later, during an Adele concert in Barcelona, Adele called the men up on stage to serenade them. And on that stage, in front of thousands of wildly enthusiastic Adele fans, Ross proposed to Nic.

There were more surprises to come. They threw an engagement party back in South Africa on September 17, 2016, that morphed into their surprise wedding! (It was also the first South-African gay wedding officiated by a rabbi!) They posted a short and moving video of that day on their Facebook account.

Ross and Nic at their wedding

Nic who has been free of alcohol and drugs for 5 years realized that his former lifestyle was no longer making him happy. Both Nic and Ross agreed early on that they would love to have a family together. They settled on surrogacy as their preferred way of creating a family. They felt supported by South Africa's progressive Children's Act that stipulates that surrogacy requires a High Court order before embryo transfer rather than an adoption order after birth. A wonderful meeting with their future surrogate sealed the deal. Ross and Nic felt they were in a position to affect their surrogate's life positively as well.

The amount to paperwork required for their surrogacy – among which many medical tests and psychiatric evaluations – was overwhelming at times, but useful and appropriate. The men are convinced the world would be a better place if all intended parents had to jump through these hoops!

The new dads with baby Willow

They've had invaluable support from an unexpected source: Ross's ex-wife. Nic calls her "the most incredible woman"; she and her two kids, 14 and 15 now, were the first visitors to see Willow in the hospital!

Some concerns they had – How will Ross's kids react? – dissipated as soon as they talked about their plans with them. The kids were both very excited for them! Other nagging doubts – Are we mentally ready for a baby? Will we be good parents? How will our relationship change? – seemed to dissolve as soon as their baby Willow was born.

Willow with older sister, Jessica

They firmly believe, if you're ready for a lifelong commitment and really want to be a dad, Go for it! And if you choose surrogacy, you will need an amazing support team: a fertility clinic, an egg donor, a surrogate, lawyers, and family support.

Ross and Nic are hoping that in a few years, they can take time off from their exacting jobs to travel the world with their daughter.

The future for this young family is holding great promise.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Love, Kids, and a Sixteenth Century French Château

A 400-year-old castle provides a charming backdrop to this modern family's life.

Ready to be enamored and exhausted? Meet Papá, Daddy, and their three lovable boys. This typical family's day-to-day is probably the closest we can get to a literal fairy tale, sans the leather-bound book. Their lives revolve around work, school, Wednesday soccer practices, and maintaining the sixteenth century French château they call home.

Yes, a 400-something-year-old castle is the backdrop to this modern family's life. The husbands acquired the château two years ago, and promptly moved in with their three newly-adopted sons to furnish the countless bedrooms and paint the walls rainbow with their own memories.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

The Inuit Custom Adoption Program Helped These Dads Form Their Family

After learning about the Inuit Custom Adoption Program from family, Keith and Kevin knew it was the way they wanted to become dads.

Keith Willey, 49, and his husband Kevin Kablutsiak, 42, who live in Ottawa, Canada, first met online in 2010. The couple had their first date soon afterwards in a coffee house and, "haven't looked back since," said Keith. They married on May 22nd, 2016.

Keith, who works as a Policy Advisor with the Canadian Federal Government, and Kevin, who works as the Director of Communications with the Canadian National Inuit Organization (ITK), always knew they wanted kids together, and talked about it early on in their relationship. Still, as gay men, they weren't sure that option would ever be available to them.

"I grew up in the UK in the 1970s so I assumed it would be impossible to have children," said Keith. "I always assumed that I would have to lead a life sort of in the shadows and in secret. Attitudes were so different in the 70s to how they are now that I simply believe that we thought it would be impossible to have a child."

The option materialized for the couple, however, when Kevin's sister, pregnant at the time, approached the two men about adopting her baby through the Inuit adoption process. They knew they couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"Kevin is Inuk and adoption, particularly inter-family adoption, is common in Inuit culture," said Keith.

The Inuit Custom Adoption Process was originally used in the small Inuit societies in the arctic, Kevin explained. It's primarily (though not exclusively) intended as a path for adoption within families. The process is legally recognized by the Canadian legal system.

As Kevin went on to explain, Inuit custom adoption was traditional used to support survival within, what were until quite recently, people living a nomadic lifestyle. It is, in essence, a deeply loving and selfless tradition of giving the gift of life to a carefully selected couple, most often with the guidance of elders (usually the matriarch within a family). If a couple couldn't conceive, for instance, others would sometimes offer their help. Similarly, if a couple lost a child, the grieving parents might be given a baby to help ease the ache of their loss. While most Inuit parents have zero intention of custom adopting their children to other families, adoption continues to be an established method in Inuit regions.

Through this process, and with everyone's agreement, the two men legally adopted Kevin's sister and her husband's child from birth. They named her Abbie. "Kevin's sister and her husband came to stay with us in Ottawa prior to the birth so Abbie was in our care from the moment she was born," said Keith. "She got to come home with us the day after the birth with the legal process taking around 11 months to complete from start to finish."


As far as their parenting styles, the couple say they've drawn on each of their pasts. "Both Kevin and I had somewhat difficult childhoods and have spent a lot of time working through and dealing with childhood trauma," Keith said. "As a result, we are better parents and we continue to look after ourselves and each other as we continue to grow in parenthood."

Though the couple come from different cultures, they said they've had no difficulty developing a parenting approach that works for them both. "I don't think either of us raise Abbie in the same parenting style that we experienced," Keith said, "We both talked and agreed on our approach before Abbie was born and we work well together as a parenting couple."

The result is a parenting style that incorporates some elements of both of their backgrounds, Keith said. "Inuit culture tends to shower children in love and we certainly do that," said Kevin. From English-style parenting, the couple have also borrowed the tendency of English parents to be "pretty obsessive," Keith said, about routines, such as scheduling meals, naps and bedtimes.

Though life was good before Abbie joined the family, "now it's fantastic!" Keith said. "I feel like being a parent was what I was put on this earth to be." Because neither man ever expected to become fathers, moreover, both say they look at parenthood as a privilege rather than a right — a helpful perspective they suggest to other gay men considering fatherhood. "Parenthood is an amazing gift," Keith said, "But remember it's about them, not you — and they deserve the best start in life we can give them."

Though fatherhood came to them somewhat unexpectedly, Keith and Kevin say they couldn't be happier with the way things turned out. "When I reflect on our life together, and where we both came from, it is incredible to me that we are now married, content, and parents to our wonderful panik," Keith said, using the Inuktitut word for daughter. "We are totally blessed."


Gay Dad Family Stories

This Family Is 'Flying High' with Acceptance

Dads Kai and Nir, who work as flight service managers, recently spoke to their son's class — in full uniform of course.

Meet Daddy Kai, Daddy Nir, and their two beautiful kids! These loving fathers are flight service managers who live in Israel, but are often busy flying around the world. When they were recently invited to their son's preschool to talk about their careers, they knew they had to come in full uniform and — of course — bring some safety equipment. Daddy Kai shared the experience with us.

"The kids are already used to our son having two dads and a mom. We are the only 'queer' family in his preschool and everybody, parents and children, are really accepting," says Kai. "The children also call us like our sons call us: 'Daddy Kai and Daddy Nir'."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

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Expert Advice

4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

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Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

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Gay Dad Life

10 of Our Most Popular Posts Featuring Single Gay Dads

Happy Single Parent's Day! To celebrate, we rounded up some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads.

Did you know March 21st is Single Parents Day? Well now you do, and you should mark the occasion by checking out our round up of some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads!

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