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

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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.

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What to Buy

"The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" Is Being Turned Into a 5-Book Series

Will Mason has launched a kickstarter to turn his children's book "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" into a 5-book series

Guest post written by Will Mason, author of "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart," which he wrote in honor of his lesbian sister, her children, and all children who find themselves feeling different in some way.

I, Will Mason, kindly ask you to support my Kickstarter, to help launch the latest book in the LGBTQ Rainbow Heart children's series, "The Invasion of Big Angry Red." 5% of sales will go to GLSEN, in honor of Jamel Myles, the 9-year-old student who took his life this past August after he was bullied for being gay.

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What to Buy

8 Children’s Books About Surrogacy For Kids with Gay Dads

Check out our favorite children's books about surrogacy for gay dads and their kids

Foreword by BJ Barone, author of Milo's Adventures: A Story About Love

It's important for our kids to read books about surrogacy featuring two dads so they can see themselves and their family in the literature we read to them! All children should be reading stories that show families are created different and that love comes in many forms. There is no right or wrong way to be a family!

***

Milo's Adventures: A Story About Love

Told from Milo's perspective, Milo's Adventures is a story of surrogacy, love and becoming a family. The hoping, waiting, excitement, and love are universal experiences of a loving family but Milo's story is unique as he has two daddies, a surrogate and a whole world who celebrates his birth on World Pride Weekend. We hope that this story helps everyone understand that Family is About Love!


Gal and Noa's Daddies

Noa and Gal have two fathers, Itai and Yoav. They call them by their nicknames, Daddy-Yo and Daddy-I. Noa and Gal were born to gay parents in a process called surrogacy, with the help of two special women that enabled the arrival of the twins into the world. In this unique book, the writer, Shosh Pinkas, shares the story of many same-sex families around the world. Gal and Noa's Daddies describes in a simple, clear, and humorous way, without any apologies, a loving and caring same-sex family. This is a brave and important book for children, and it also provides an appropriate answer for the needs of adults, as well. Family members, teachers, and friends will learn how to cope with the questions of curious children who seek to know more about the different types of families they see around them.


The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, a Gay Parenting Story

A sweet children's story of how two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, have their own baby by means of an egg donor and surrogacy. Using kangaroos in the story enables children to easily understand the methods related to their conception in a simple and loving way.


The 2 Boys Who Wanted to Become Daddies

The best way to explain surrogacy to kids. The 2 boys who wanted to become daddies introduces young children to the concept of surrogacy. The story gently guides the reader through the love of the parents and their desire to have a child, the surrogate's decision-making process, the egg donation, the pregnancy, and the resulting baby that is then given back to the biological parents. When two boys wish to have a baby, it takes a fabulous recipe and an amazing adventure to gather three treasures. Follow them in their exciting journey to create a magical family! This book has been reviewed by both a child psychologist and a behavioral specialist to ensure that the story answers questions that a typical child would have and that it is communicated effectively.


Why I'm So Special Surrogacy

Why I'm So Special, A Book About Surrogacy With Two Daddies, tackles a very difficult, complicated subject in a sweet, whimsical way. It is a lighthearted picture book on surrogacy with two daddies. The book is a story that all parents who used a surrogate may share with their young children to let them know just how special they are. This story is ultimately about hope, perseverance, and lots of love.


Daddy and Pop

Daddy and Pop is the heartwarming story of Jessie, a little girl with two fathers. Jessie doesn't realize that her family isn't 'typical' until a girl in her class asks about her mom. Jessie's Daddy and Pop tell her about the amazing journey they took to have her, by using an egg donor and a surrogate, in this fun-filled musical book! Daddy and Pop is part of the Love Makes a Family book series by Guess Who? Multimedia (in association with Pacific Fertility Center, Los Angeles), celebrating families made possible by egg and sperm donation, surrogacy, and adoption. *The book has an accompanying musical CD, which is sold separately.


Sophia's Crayons

Sophia's Broken Crayons is a book for young children, recommended for children ages 2 to 6 years old which tells a story of surrogacy from a young child's perspective in a practical way that children can understand and grasp. A little girl by the name of Sophia is heartbroken after she discovers all of her crayons are broken. Sophia's friend's share their crayons with her as she experiences seeing her parents choose to give the gift of surrogacy to their friends. Sophia's Broken Crayons is a very easy and understanding way to help explain surrogacy to a young child which include questions such as why can't everyone have a baby? Why would someone choose a surrogate to help grow their family? Why would someone choose to become a surrogate? Follow the story of Sophia as she learns about sharing and helping out friends in need as well as why moms and dads choose surrogates to help grow their families and why surrogates choose to help other families that way.


The Twin Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, a Gay Parenting Story

This children's story is ideal for gay parenting. The story is about two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, who have their own twins by means of an egg donor and surrogacy. Using kangaroos in the story enables children to easily understand the complicated methods related to their conception in a simple and loving way.


Every book or product on Gays With Kids is independently selected by our staff, writers and experts. If you click on a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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