Gay Dad Life

Parenting in the Time of a Pandemic

While parenting during the age of the coronavirus, it's important to celebrate the good and try to forget about the bad, says Grant Minkhorst.

After a year at home caring for our little (big) baby, I had returned to the office for a mere two weeks before the world came to an abrupt halt. Next thing I knew, I was breaking out the sweat pants and trying to settle into life working from home. I'll admit, I had mixed feelings about this sudden return to my former habitat. On the one hand, I would be able to spend more time with my family. On the other hand, I would have to spend more time with my family. I was enjoying the quiet rides into work (alone) and savouring my piping hot morning coffee. The novelty of going to the bathroom without disruption had not yet worn off. On the bright(er) side, I've been able to continue watching our child grow up without missing a beat. The positives outweigh the negatives by a hair. During my moments of energetic positivity, I'm grateful for the opportunity to create new memories and traditions. But, during my moments of utter despair, I only see a clock moving at a glacial pace towards bedtime.


Our 15-month-old doesn't stop moving. Never. He has taken over all 1100 square-feet of our home with supreme dominance. I have taken refuge in our bedroom during weekdays in order to meet the demands of my job, but I have to shut the door tight for fear that he will sniff me out. My husband is doing his best to keep him entertained, but there are only so many activities that involve one child and one adult. In the past week, we've purchased at least 20 new books, a water table and a tunnel. Tomorrow, I may end up buying a miniature pony. We are figuring it out and doing our best to stay sane.

We are currently in a state of crisis parenting. We are all looking for ways to cope with this perpetual state of uncertainty. It's been heartwarming to see social media posts of families finding some joy during this time. Parents making signs to get drivers to honk their horns for their kid's birthday; families going on the balcony to bang pots and pans for healthcare workers; a mom and dad recreating a restaurant experience for their two kids. It's incredible to see what some parents can do during this time. But let's make one thing clear: those families that look like they have this pandemic parenting thing all figured out are struggling just like the rest of us.

This isn't the time to showcase our best parenting skills; it's the time to just make it to tomorrow. There will be good days and bad days. Let's celebrate the good and try to forget about the bad. The reality for most of our kids is that they won't remember much about this very weird time in their lives. But, in 20 years, we will be able to tell them about that time that we watched two entire seasons of Drag Race in one day. Or that time that we pretended that spaghetti was our real hair. Or the time when we stayed in bed all day and watched movies. Or the time(s) when Daddy and Papa screamed into their pillows out of sheer exhaustion.

We're spending too much time thinking about what we should be doing. Let's focus on what we are doing. We are keeping our kids safe, healthy and fed. We are doing our best to pay bills, clean the house and buy groceries. We are trying to maintain a sense of normalcy during the abnormal. If you're lucky enough to come out the other side of this stronger, that's great. If you come out of this feeling depleted and anxious, you'll work to get back to where you once were. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with your partner. Be patient with your children. We'll be okay.

Follow our family adventures on Instagram @daddypapaandjasper

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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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