TOP - Trans Dads

Paths to Gay Fatherhood: The Trans Dad

The Trans Dad


Transgender dads obviously come to parenthood in the same way as many lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, via adoption, foster care and surrogacy. But as we detailed in a Gays With Kids article this past February, some trans men also choose to have their own biological children by carrying them themselves.

“Trans men who are considering fatherhood potentially face an extra layer of discrimination in various levels of the family planning process," Paul told me, who is a trans dad featured in that article. “Fertility clinics, prenatal health providers and adoption agencies may all discriminate against a person for being transgender."

Chris and Paul with their son, Brad

Stephen Stratton, another trans man featured in that article, also bemoaned the lack of education and support in the medical and fertility fields when it comes to transmasculine pregnancy. “There is never any guarantee that the people you need to work with are going to be sensitive, understanding or knowledgeable," he wrote to me via email. “The hospital we birthed at was so welcoming and the nursing staff respected our birth plan and made us feel at ease and at home." But, he said, not everyone has a "rainbows and sunshine" experience with their health care providers.

Of course, the social stigma attached to being a trans man who is also pregnant extends far beyond the walls of hospitals and fertility clinics. For proof, one need look no further than the tabloids and media circus that erupted after Thomas Beatie publicly announced his pregnancy as a trans man several years ago.

“Not everyone was warm and accepting of how we created our family," Stephen said. “Some people did and said hurtful things." Despite the challenges, though, Stephen says he wouldn't change a thing. “I have an amazing child who I love more than anything, I would… do it over a hundred times to get to be her Papa."

While acceptance of trans people and parents is certainly increasing in the United States, there are added things to think about, Paul said, when a trans man is considering having a biological child. “Some doctors are not educated on the effects of hormone treatment and may offer a trans patient inaccurate medical advice because of that," he wrote. “It's tough." He also noted that parental rights can often be brought into question for trans men going through a divorce since some lawyers still make the case that being transgender is a mental illness.

Stephen and Josh with their daughter Rowen

Paul's best piece of advice for other trans men thinking of taking this route to fatherhood? “Talk to other trans men who have done it!" Paul said. “It's a tough road, but it's easier with support. There are groups of trans men who have given birth online."

Stephen, who said his pregnancy felt lonely at times, even with a supportive partner, readily echoed the advice to reach out to other trans men who understand the experience. “My body [was] going through the changes, and … my brain ... was affected by the onslaught of hormones and it was me who was responsible for growing a baby for nine months," Stephen wrote me. “It was good to have midwives we trusted, it was good to have the support of friends and family, but it was most important to me to have other trans men to talk to who had been through it."

For other trans dads considering this or any other path to parenthood, check out Lambda Legal's page about Transgender parenting. And be sure to stay tuned for future articles about trans parents on Gays With Kids.


Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Show Comments ()
TOP - Trans Dads

Becoming Papa

For as far back as I can remember, I have wanted to be a parent. As soon as I could talk I asked for baby dolls, and then later, I asked for a baby brother. I got both. By age 5 I had the full-fledged “baby fever" that some women approaching their thirties feel. I had a special doll, Jessica, that came everywhere with me. I dressed her in my old baby clothes, I wore her in a carrier I bought at a yard sale, I took her on adventures in the woods and sat her in the basket of my bike. I remember pretending to nurse her as I had seen my mother and aunts do with their babies. I treated her like she was a real baby, like she was my baby, she was my practice for someday when I would get to have a real baby of my own. Even though I was born and raised female, I don't recall being strongly connected to the idea of pregnancy and birth, I just knew I wanted babies and imagined that someday I would probably adopt children. I wanted to start a family young and have a house full of kids.

Keep reading... Show less
TOP - Trans Dads

Real Men Give Birth

In this first article for Gays With Kids on transgender fatherhood, journalist E.J. Graff investigates the experiences of two transdads who each carried and delivered their own child.
Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Breaking with Older Generations,  Most LGBTQ Millenials Say They Want Kids

According to new research by the Family Equality Council, the number of LGBTQ parents is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years

According to the LGBTQ Family Building Survey, recently released by the Family Equality Council, the majority of young LGBTQ say they are interested in becoming parent. This marks a dramatic shift when compared with the attitudes of older generations.

Among the survey's findings:

  • 63% of LGBTQ Millennials (aged 18-35) are considering expanding their families, either becoming parents for the first time, or by having more children
  • 48% of LGBTQ Millennials are actively planning to grow their families, compared to 55% of non-LGBTQ Millennials, a gap that has narrowed significantly in comparison to older generations
  • 63% of LGBTQ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to become parents, a significant shift away from older generations of LGBTQ parents for whom the majority of children were conceived through intercourse.

Despite the expected increase in LGBTQ parents, most providers, they note, "do not typically receive training about the unique needs of the LGBTQ community; forms and computer systems are not developed with LGBTQ families in mind; insurance policies are rarely created to meet the needs of LGBTQ family building; and discrimination against LGBTQ prospective parents by agencies and providers remains widespread."

The Family Equality Council goes on to recommend that family building providers "from reproductive endocrinologists and obstetricians to neonatal social workers, family law practitioners, and child welfare workers" begin preparing now to welcome future LGBTQ parents.

Read the full report here.

Change the World

Gay Dads More 'Equitable' in Parenting Roles Than Straight Dads, Says New Study

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,

A new study conducted by Éric Feugé from the Université du Québec à Montréal observed 46 families, made up of 92 gay dads and their 46 children over a period of seven years.

The study, which Feugé says is the first of its kind, analyzed the roles gay dads take in raising their kids and found the way they parent is 'very equitable'.

'We learned that gay fathers' sharing of tasks is very equitable,' the researcher told the Montreal Gazette, who added there was a "high degree of engagement" by both gay dads in all types of parental roles. "What's really interesting is that they don't conform to roles of conventional fathers. They were able to redefine and propose new models of cultural notions of paternity and masculinity."

Unmoored by gender roles, gay dads take equal parts in being "playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models, morality guides,' the author said.

Read the full review of the research here.

Change the World

Don't F*ck With This F*g

After a homophobic encounter on the subway, BJ questions what the right response is, in an era of increasing vocal rightwing activists

On February 1, 2019, Frank and I went out on a date night, something we haven't done in a while. Our son was sleeping over at his grandparents for the night and we made plans with our friends to meet them for dinner downtown. We decided to save some money and take the subway into town instead of taking a taxi.

We boarded the subway and sat down opposite a couple, a man and woman. I noticed they looked at us as we boarded the train and began whispering to each other. Frank and I were talking to each other when I heard the man uttering under his breath, "F*$%ing faggots."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

14 Gay Dad Families Show Their Love This Valentine's Day

These pics of gay dads smooching will warm the hearts of even the biggest V-Day skeptics

You might quietly (or loudly) oppose the commercialism and celebration of Valentine's Day, but let's just take a moment and rejoice in these beautiful signs of affection, shared between 14 awesome two-dad families. Cynicism gone? Good.

Happy Valentine's Day, dads! We hope you have a lovely day with your kids, your significant other, and / or friends. Because who doesn't love love!?!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

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

FOLLOW OUR FAMILIES

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse