Gay Dad Life

These Gay Dads Went Viral After 'One Direction' Star Niall Horan Tweeted This Photo

After boarding a 10-hour transatlantic flight with their 18-day-old daughter, these dads handed out a note apologizing in advance to fellow passengers for any fuss. One of those passengers was former "One Direction" singer, Niall Horan.

Earlier this year, two first-time gay dads wrote a courtesy note for their fellow airline passengers, informing them that this was their newborn's first flight and how she would "do her utmost to be on her best behavior to ensure that you have a peaceful flight." Little did they know that this note, its accompanying goodie bag and sweet photo would end up in the hands of fellow passenger and former One Direction star, Niall Horan. Horan tweeted a photo of the goodie bag and attached note, and the twittersphere exploded with heart-eyed smiley face emojis. The tweet pulled on the heartstrings of hundreds of thousands of people. Here's the family story of two Danish gay dads whose trip home became a viral sensation.


Andreas Husby and Rasmus Soendergaard, both in their early thirties, met 12 years ago while taking a scuba diving class. They live in Lyndby, Denmark, and at first, when they discussed growing their family, they wanted to try and adopt seeing as it had been legalized in the Scandinavian countries. However, the countries where they were eligible to adopt from, as Danish residents, had their own laws against gay couples adopting. And thus, the door was closed. Andreas and Rasmus briefly considered co-parenting with a lesbian couple, but were worried that it might become complicated.

"When we heard about surrogacy, that sounded perfect," said Andreas, "so we went along with that path."

Rasmus with Marit

One day browsing YouTube, Andreas came across an informational video of John Weltman, CEO and founder of Circle Surrogacy, speaking at a Men Having Babies event. "A lot of the questions people asked were the same questions that I had," said Andreas. "It sounded interesting so I started to research some more." The more research he did, the more he knew that surrogacy was the right choice for their family. They chose to work with Circle as their surrogacy agency, and on Circle's recommendation, they met with RMACT's Dr. Mark Leondires. "We really liked his direct approach to the medical process."

The flew over the US for the their FDA testing and semen storage, and began their journey. Their first two embryo transfers were sadly unsuccessful. The couple began to doubt their path and thought maybe it was a sign. But they put their fears and hesitations aside and tried again. On their third attempt, their surrogate became pregnant.

Andreas with Marit

The dads-to-be were hands-on throughout the pregnancy, with Andreas, who had airline miles from a previous job, flying over for the 10-week, 20-week and 30-week scan. They both flew over two weeks before their surrogate's due date; their baby daughter Marit Victoria was born May 3, 2018, a little over a week before the due date.

Andreas and Rasmus will forever be thankful to their surrogate whom they have an ongoing and special relationship with. The plan is for their surrogate and her son to come visit the dads in Denmark during winter so they can experience snow and a cold winter seeing as they hail from California.

Andreas holding Marit with Rasmus beside their surrogate and her son, the day before leaving the U.S.

The new dads are adjusting to life as parents - in the early days, the round the clock feeding schedule made sleep a distant memory for them both. But they're getting the hang of it, and Marit is gaining weight and already sleeping through the night at three months.

When the couple were renting their accommodation in California, where they spent their time awaiting the arrival of Marit and during her first couple of weeks on this earth, Andreas came up with the idea of the goodie bags. He'd seeing something similar before, and after all, who doesn't love a goodie bag? "At first, when Rasmus came in and saw me seated on the floor with piles of candy making the goodie bags, he just shook his head and laughed." No one knew that these thoughtful little gestures would ensure a welcome home like no other. When they gave them out on the plane, the dads, in their exhausted new parents state, thought they recognized a familiar face ( - Niall Horan! - ) but were more concerned with caring for their newborn to think much of it.

It wasn't till a couple of days after their flight, that dads Andreas and Rasmus realized that Marit's goodie bag had become a viral sensation! Niall Horan of One Direction fame had tweeted the photo of little Marit with an accompanying note: "Had the coolest little goodie bag on the plane with this letter enclosed. Marit was quiet as a mouse for 10 hours. Good luck to both dads."

Several media companies reached out to Andreas and Rasmus for comments and the dads obliged, happy to share their family's news and to show a positive image of a family created by surrogacy. "A lot of people in Europe seem to believe that surrogacy is a matter of renting a womb and taking advantage of underprivileged women … Hopefully by sharing our story we can help spread the message that that is wrong and that surrogates do it because they have a genuine with to help others."

Marit's baptism

After their 15 minutes of fame, the dads are thriving as a family of three, and one day hope to grow their family again through surrogacy. We can't wait to see what will be in the next goodie bag!

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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Become a Gay Dad

Curious About Covid 19's Impact on Foster Care and Adoption?

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the adoption and foster care processes.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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Children's Books

New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Interested in Foster Care? These Amazing Dads Have Some Advice

As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

Thinking about becoming a foster parent? Check out these resources here, and visit AdoptUSKids.

Meet the Foster Dads!

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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