What to Buy

Gay Dads Inspired These Sisters to Create an LGBTQA+ Baby Clothing Line

Two sisters were so inspired by their gay uncle's journey to parenthood they decided to create an LGBTQ clothing children's line.

Guest post written by Sam Cardenas, founder of Peatree. Sam and her sister Jess became so inspired by their gay uncle's journey to parenthood, they decided to create a clothing line for LGBTQ kids.

"Emma is pregnant….with her brother's baby." This was Uncle Brian's favorite way to share that Aunt Emma was a surrogate to Uncle Rafael's baby.

Let's rewind to early 2009, when Uncle Raf & his husband Steve first started researching the adoption process. As same-sex partners, the options were limited and the requirements were different. Prior to the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, only one parent in a same-sex couple could be recognized as the legal parent in some states. Although the legalization of same-sex marriage allows both partners to be listed as parents, adoption agencies were still able to deny Rafael and Steve on the basis of religious beliefs. Even after finding an agency that would support a same-sex couple, the next steps were just as difficult. Rafael & Steve now faced a significant financial investment in addition to the emotional and mental experience of parenting classes. The process for a gay couple was systematically more difficult than that of a straight couple.


During the summer of 2009, the couple decided to change course to pursue surrogacy instead of adoption, which brought about a new set of challenges. They had to choose an egg donor and a surrogate to birth their child. Overwhelmed with the process, Raf and Steve shared their journey with our family. During one of the many conversations, Rafael's sister, Emma, shared how fond she was of being pregnant and would consider being a surrogate. Then in October of 2009, we found out that Emma agreed to be a surrogate for the couple.

With one major step accomplished, now it was time to choose an egg donor. Donors can be filtered by educational background, profession, physical attributes and so many others. Rafael described the process as a "match.com" for donors. Ultimately, they chose an egg donor who would represent Rafael's heritage because Steve would be the biological parent. This allowed both of them to be represented in their child's genetics.

In the same email Rafael told us Emma would be the surrogate, he also asked for prayers and good vibes because he knew they had a long road ahead. IVF (in vitro fertilization) often takes a minimum of three tries before the probability increases to about 40%. The odds were not in anyone's favor. We truly believe that LOVE & science brought our baby cousin, Olivia, into this world because Emma's body accepted the IVF...

on

the

FIRST

try!

Unheard of! Even the doctor was shocked. To our family, this could only be explained by the miracles of science complemented by our family's overwhelming love for Rafael & Steve. Untethered by societal norms, our family could not be more happy to welcome Olivia into this world in October 2010. One year and 2 weeks from when they announced they started their surrogacy journey, Olivia joined our family.

Naturally, our family was ready to host a baby shower and prep the soon to be parents with gifts! Jessica and Rafael were close in age growing up so it was natural for her to shop for the baby shower. It was difficult to find any décor or gifts that were signs of two dads. She would have to custom order a sign that read "Welcome new Dad & Papa." Similar to Sam, she was disappointed in the heteronormative shopping experience. Sam was shopping in London on a student's budget and would browse the window displays. Baby bodysuits often read "Mommy's Dude," "Daddy's Princess," and other heteronormative sayings. We were raised with the belief that all families are created equal because they come in different forms: two dads, two moms, one dad, one mom, adoption, surrogacy.

Based on our experience, Jessica & I decided to launch, PeaTree, an inclusive and sustainable baby bodysuit brand for our community, by our community. Our first collection is in honor of Steve, Rafael & Olivia. We believe in LGBTQA rights, we believe in sustainability and we believe in immigration. Based on our values, it is important to us that our baby bodysuits (Gerber has a trademark on 'onesie'...womp) are gender neutral, made of 100% organic cotton with non toxic or low impact dye. We're all about dressing cute babies while taking care of Mother Earth. Plus, our onesies are hand sewn in Los Angeles, CA so we can support our local community.

We believe in genuine representation. As an inclusive brand, we seek out designers who identify as LGBTQA+ or women of color because representation matters. In the coming year, we will establish ourselves as a 'must have' brand. We want to be the go-to destination for sweet, whimsical designs that make a bold statement. We want to grow with our customer. The Conways' daughter wore our "Daddies' Little Love" bodysuit as a newborn. We hope to dress her as she grows into a toddler by offering additional sizing. We want PeaTree to be a household brand name.

(As in... We want to hand deliver our influencer package to Andy Cohen at brunch with him and Sarah Jessica Parker.)

Happy Father's Day to all our Gay Dads!

XOXO,

Sam

Founder of PeaTree

www.babypeatree.com

@BabyPeaTree

Founders Sam and Jess

Show Comments ()
What to Buy

Shop with a Purpose with Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find amazing gift ideas while *also* supporting LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses? Look no further than our 2019 holiday gift guide!

'Tis the season to show loved ones you care. And what better way to show you care, by also supported our LGBTQ+ community and allies whilst doing it! Shop (LGBTQ+) smart with these great suggestions below.

Keep reading...
What to Buy

A Gift Guide for LGBTQ Inclusive Children's Books

Need some ideas for good LGBTQ-inclusive children's books? Look no further than our gift guide!

Every year we see more books released that feature our families, and we're here for it! We're especially excited for the day when diverse and LGBTQ+ inclusive books are less of "the odd one out" and rather considered part of every kids' everyday literacy.

To help us reach that day, we need to keep supporting our community and allies who write these stories. So here's a list of some of the great books that need to be in your library, and gifts to the other kids in your lives.

Keep reading...
What to Buy

Sick of Switching Genders on Their Daughter's Kids Books, These Moms Created Their Own

Keren Moran, co-founder of Mememe Press, created a customizable line of books that is inclusive of ALL families

Guest post written by Keren Moran Co-founder at mememepress.com

We spent the first 4 years of our daughter's bedtime cheerfully snuggled up reading books, swapping genders and pronouns, populating her picture books with little vignettes of happy gay families like ours. This worked fine until the day she realized Sally and Conrad, the kids in 'The Cat in the Hat' have a mom and a dad (not two moms like us) and was NOT impressed with our deception.

From that point on she took it upon herself to tirelessly police our reading in to the hetero normative narratives that matched the text (what she couldn't read she expertly deduced from the pictures) and most of the representations in the book-world around her.

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