Gay Dad Family Stories

After a Heartbreaking Loss, These Adoptive Gay Dads Learned to Open Up Their Hearts, and Home, Once Again

After the death of their three-month-old daughter, Nick and Sean struggled to go on. But with the help of their adoption agency, friends and family, the dads welcomed a baby girl into their family last fall.

Nick Bryan and Sean McGuire, who live in Columbus, Ohio, have suffered heartache that no parent should ever have to endure. They became first-time dads in 2016 when they adopted a baby girl who was born two months premature. Sadly, their daughter did not make it to 4 months, and passed away due to premature complications. The dads struggled to go on. But with the support of their family, friends and a wonderful adoption agency, they tried again, and in November last year, another little girl was born, and she had two daddies ready to love her with all their hearts. Here's their family's story.


Sean first spotted Nick at a LEGO store in a local mall. They were both out shopping with their best friends at the time, and neither man said anything to the other. A few hours later, Sean managed to find Nick online and messaged him. On their first date they went to the movies. Flash forward five years and the two were married on September 27, 2014.

Once they were married, Nick and Sean began their adoption classes; their adoption profile went live in November 2015. They chose to go through a private local agency that a few friends had recommended, and they were and still are very happy with their choice. The agency was very welcoming and even had a few other gay dads pursuing the same route to fatherhood.

Nick holding Harper with Sean (right)

Nine months after their profile being live, they received a phone call from a birth mom. They chatted with her on the phone for a week, then met in person, and then began accompanying the mom on doctor visits. The birth mom gave birth on September 24, 2016, two months premature due to her gestational diabetes and pre-clampsia. The baby was a little girl and her new dads named her Harper. They spent most of the next two months with her in the NICU. "[We] have some great memories of spending time with her there and learning a lot from our incredible nurses," shared Sean.

Harper was discharged the day before Thanksgiving and went home with her dads. A little over a month later, the 3-month-old passed away on New Year's Eve. "Losing a child is the hardest thing I will ever face in my life," said Nick. "I think about her every day." "It's hard to put into words the pain we feel but much easier to say how much we love and miss her every day," added Sean.

Nick, Piper's birth mom, Sean

Their adoption agency really helped the dads during this inconceivably difficult time. They arranged for the dads to see a therapist, and worked closely with them to get them back on the adoption list. By April, the dads decided it was time try again, and in July they were matched with another birth mom. "We met her the very next day and went along to an ultrasound where we found out we were having another girl," said Nick.

For the next four months, the dads followed their birth mom's pregnancy, were there through the labor and delivery, and on November 17, 2017, their daughter Piper was born. For the dads, it was love at first sight. "People always say that fatherhood is a life changing experience, and they are right," said Sean. "I always thought I was happy person but since my daughters were born that happiness has grown and my heart feels full."

Piper's adoption day

Sean and Nick have a wonderful relationship with Piper's birth mom and hope to continue having an open relationship with her. "I feel that it's important not only for us to know her mom for medical reasons, but to love her and appreciate her giving us our amazing daughter," said Nick. Piper's birth mom and her own kids are part of Nick, Sean and Piper's extended family.

On May 23, 2018, Piper's adoption was finalized and she and her dads became an official forever family.

When Sean and Nick first became dads to baby Harper, they knew that fatherhood was something to be treasured. It increased their capacity to love fourfold, both for each other and for Harper. "It was love at first sight and a type of love I've never felt before," said Sean. Now the dads are sharing that love with their beautiful daughter Piper. "I've learned to live in the moment, and put the phone down to enjoy those precious times with my baby," added Nick. "We may not be related by blood, but we love our babies more than we could have ever imagined."

"We always say how lucky we are that we got chosen to be their dads."

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Family Stories

Meet the First Same-Sex Couple to Receive a Grant Through Best Buy's Adoption Assistance Program

Keegan and Paul Schroepfer are believed to be the first gay couple to receive a grant through Best Buy's adoption assistance program.

Keegan Shoutz and Paul Schroepfer met at college in 2010, when marriage equality wasn't legal in their home state of Minnesota. Back then, kids were a far off distant thought. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA in 2015, the pair married a year later and began discussing their future as dads. In 2017, the husbands began their adoption journey, and the long wait began.

Keegan, 31, works in public relations for Best Buy's corporate communications team, and Paul, 35, is a lawyer. Their journey to adoption took over two and a half years, and they describe it as "a LOT of waiting." The couple considered surrogacy but decided adoption was the right path for their family. The first part of their journey was focused on a pile of paperwork, in-person classes, and then social outreach.

Their nursery sat empty for a year after all their "homework" was completed.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Family Stories

Sister Act: How Four Siblings Helped Joey and Rob Become Dads

The husbands *also* received help from Men Having Babies, a nonprofit helping gay men become dads via surrogacy.

"I first learned about Men Having Babies while searching the internet for insurances that covered surrogacy," said Joey Guzman-Kuffel, 40, a Marriage and Family Therapist. "As I researched our surrogacy options the Men Having Babies link popped up. When I clicked on their link, I learned that this awesome organization was bringing awareness to men wanting to have babies and the possibilities to do so."

Joey and his husband Rob Kuffel, 47, Protocol Officer for the US Navy, have been together seven years after meeting via OKCupid.com. They chatted for a week via the app, then graduated to a phone call which lasted 3-4 hours. "I always knew that I wanted to have kids and knew that I needed to be with a partner that wanted to have kids as well," said Joey. Rob felt the same way. The two were married in May 2014.

Keep reading...
News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

Keep reading...
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse