Gay Dad Life

Top 10 Family Features of 2017

This year we've shared many stories of gay men, around the world, overcoming great obstacles to create their families. From surrogacy journeys to foster care to blended families, gay men are making their dream of fatherhood come true!

Enjoy 10 of our most read family features of 2017.


Fatherhood Knows No Borders

There was nothing preordained about the first time Farhad and Drew met. Farhad is from Azerbaijan, a country that borders Russia and Iran, while Drew is from the Philippines. But a driving purpose—to become dads one day—would ultimately bring these two men together.

Read their story.

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A Trip to Tel Aviv Pride Turned this Gay Man into a Stepdad

In 2014 New Yorker Andrew Joseph traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to experience Gay Pride Week. Andrew, who had previously lived in Israel for 5 years but had been closeted during that time, had always wanted to attend the festivities and had finally managed to arrange a trip. Gay Pride week, Andrew met Ariel Feingold, and they fell for each other. A little over a year later, they were married. The two have discussed expanding their family in the future, one that already includes Ariel's daughter Noam.

Read their story.

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Along Came Conor: How I Introduced My Boyfriend to My Kids

Four years ago, Conor and Adam Morgan met online. The couple had their first date at a local Thai restaurant and ever since have been inseparable. On March 11, 2017, they were married in the Scottish Highlands. They became husband and husband in front of friends, family and Adam's two children. Here's how one dad started living his authentic life, met his true love, and led his kids to accept him for who he truly was.

Read their story.

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Related By Love, Not Blood: Danny and Graham Adopt Collin

Some gay men know from a young age they want to become a father one day. For others, the realization happens later in life. For Danny Finkel and Graham Murphy, it was the latter. Now they're the dads of 2-month-old Collin through open adoption, and although life with a newborn can be challenging, Danny and Graham are loving their new roles as fathers.

Read their story.

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An Office Romance: From Co-Workers to Co-Dads

Ryan, a new graphic design graduate, was just looking for a job when he walked into a design studio in Fort Lauderdale, resume and portfolio in hand. Little did he know at the time he'd walk out also having met his future husband and father to his children.

Read their story.

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The Dads Behind the Instagram Pic Seen 'Round the World

Remember the photo that went viral of a deliciously cute baby, arms stretched above his head, his cherub-cheeked face looking serene, nestled in bed between his two daddies? Well, those two dads are Josh and Jeremy and they live with their two kids, the aforementioned 9-month-old Anakin and 2-month-old Izley, in Salt Lake City, Utah. We caught up with the dads, who were overwhelmed by the loving response to their sweet family photo, to see how their family came to be.

Read their story.

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These Dads Wrote Love Letters to Their Son on His Adoption Day

Arejay Encinas and his husband Mauricio Camargo wanted to become foster dads so they could help a child find a loving home. The two live in Tucson, Arizona, and were married February 2015. A little less than two years after their wedding, they received a call about a newborn who needed to be fostered. They said yes immediately. In October 2017, the little boy's adoption was finalized. This is the story of two dads and their moving letters to their son Dylan on the day they became a forever family.

Read their story.

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Cancer & Changing Surrogacy Laws Couldn't Keep This Gay Couple from Becoming Dads

Gabin Wu and Nathan Falkenborg are the proud dads of two beautiful daughters, Lily and Rosi, born July 2017. But their journey to fatherhood wasn't easy. Together 7 years, they have spent 5 of those years battling international surrogacy laws in order to become parents. During this time, Gabin also overcame a battle with cancer. Below, Gabin shares a bit about the young family's journey in his own words.

Read their story.

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Former ATP Tennis Pro's "Non-Traditional" Family Doing Just Fine

Not long ago, former ATP tennis professional Brian Vahaly met his match. On October 16, 2015, Brian married Bill Jones in Atlanta, a few months after same-sex marriage became legal by the US Supreme Court. It was a momentous occasion made all the more memorable when the newlyweds found out, the same night, that they would also soon become fathers.

Read their story.

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People en Español's Armando Lucas Correa Opens Up about Writing, Family, and What It Means to Be a Gay Dad

Armando Lucas Correa came of age in Cuba during the late seventies, a particularly dangerous time to be gay in the Communist country. Correa explains, "I grew up in Cuba in a time when homophobia was government-sponsored. There were laws in the books against homosexuality. In the 60s, concentration camps were created to send gays, religious people, and political dissidents. When you were in college, you could be kicked out if anyone questioned your sexuality."

Read his story.

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Entertainment

Take a Virtual Tour of The Homes of These Famous Gay Dads

Many famous gay dads — including Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ricky Martin — have opened up their homes to fans on the pages of Architectural Digest.

In each issue, Architectural Digest offers a peak into the homes of different celebrities. In recent years, they've featured the homes of several famous gay dads. Check out the videos and stories the magazine pulled together on the beautiful homes of Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ricky Martin below!

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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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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How the Shut Down Opened Me Up to Being a Better Dad

David Blacker's dad used to tell him to 'stop and smell the roses' — the shut down has led him to finally take the advice

"Stop and smell the roses." It was the thing my dad always said to me when I was growing up. But like many know-it-all kids, I didn't listen. I was determined to keep my eye on the prize. Whether it was getting good grades in school, getting my work published, scoring the next big promotion, buying a house or starting a family. For me, there was no such thing as resting on my laurels. It has always been about what's next and mapping out the exact course of action to get me there.

Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

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Transracial Families Series

How This Transracial Family Creates a 'Safe Space' to Talk About Their Differences

Kevin and David know they can never understand what it's like growing up as a young black girl — but they strive to create a 'safe space' for their daughters to talk about the experience

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

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

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Gay Dad Life

Movie Night: My Favorite Family Tradition

As his sons have gotten older, the movies have morphed away from cartoons and towards things blowing up — but movie night remains his favorite family tradition.

Editor's Note: This is the next 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 his 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!

Of all of our traditions and rituals, probably the most consistent and longest-lasting one was movie night. Sure, we read the heck out of Harry Potter. But our capacity for watching Harry Potter? We're talking Quidditch World Cup here, folks.

In its early version, movie night looked like this: During the week, I would order a movie and a cartoon from Netflix—back when "Netflix" meant "mail." On Saturday night—and I mean, faithfully, every Saturday night—we would order a pepperoni pizza (which Mark faithfully took the meat off of—I'll get to food later) for delivery and then sit and watch our cartoon and movies while eating. The kids had a say in the movie, but I got to pick the cartoon. They watched enough of their own cartoons on the regular, and besides, this gave me a great opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Josie and the Pussycats.


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Fatherhood, the gay way

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