Gay Dad Life

Remembering Forever - An Adoption Tale

Hi there, faithful friends and family. It has been a year since we walked out of that courtroom, a forever family. I had stupid hair, my husband had an amazing smile, and we exited the courthouse with our son like a scene from an action movie, flanked in slow-motion by those closest to us, a living testament to hard work, love, and support.

It has been the most unbelievable year, and as we wake up on the one-year anniversary of the legal affirmation of our family's place in the world, the finalization of our son's adoption, waiting for our increasingly less-tiny blond boy to greet his day, it's difficult to understate the importance of the day.

A year ago, we woke up and gave Gabe his morning bottle. Today, it'll be french toast sticks, fresh-cut strawberries, and turkey sausage. He will tell us when he is all done, he'll hold a napkin and wipe his mouth, his cheeks, and his hands. He'll want to clean his tray with a wipe. He'll tell us that he is ready to get out of his high-chair, the same chair in which my husband was fed as a baby. And then he'll walk away.

A year ago, we carried Gabe out of the house, a family of two and a half, en route to the courthouse. Today, three of us will walk out of the house, six strong legs on our way to the zoo, where Gabe will make choices about which animals he'd like to see, where he'll decide how much time he'd like to spend at each exhibit. We will watch him pick, and choose.

A year ago, we stood in front of our friends and family, and pledged to protect Gabe. We swore it in front of everyone who would listen. Today, we swear it again, in the way we'll swing Gabe while he holds our hands, just to hear him laugh. We'll swear it when he says "Go!" while sitting on our shoulders, before we take off running, our son bouncing with every step.

Because "forever" means something more to our family now. It isn't just a promise of what's to come in the future, of what will someday be. Finalizing the adoption of our son has created a permanent unit that is legally indistinguishable from any other family. It has made us real, valid, counted.

But look, while it's easy to take note of how lucky we are to be parents, it's also impossible to exclude from consideration the very real ways our world has changed over the course of the last year.

Waking up now is different than it was a year ago. Last year, it was mildly entertaining to read the bombastic headlines of a presidential campaign. Now, I'd say the headlines are a little less, well, humorous. In the time between the flutter of my eyelids and Gabe saying "Da-deeeee, Da-deeeee" these days, I reach for my cell phone, fearing what may have happened overnight, or waiting for a seemingly endless array of shoes to continue dropping.

Last year felt a bit more free. Now, we are vigilant, reminded that our family is one executive order away from being less equal, from having all that we've earned through hard work and determination and grit and sheer force of will, taken. We are not trans, but we've seen our trans friends targeted. We are not Muslim, but we've seen our Muslim friends pushed aside and marginalized. We are not immigrants or refugees, but our hearts ache for those who are. Because today, it is not us. Tomorrow? We rise daily with bated breath and anxiety, hoping to just maintain what we've achieved.

There's a scene in HBO's "Big Little Lies", where Shailene Woodley's character is running along the beaches of Monterrey. She is exhausted, both chasing after and being chased by her own demons. She can run no further, and at the place where the sea kisses the sand, all that is left for her to do is to scream.

We have reached the beach.

Last year, we saw the first woman nominated to represent a major political party, talking about families like mine, pledging that she would fight for us, with us, alongside us. This year? We have a President who calls the White House "a real dump," denies election meddling, incites and encourages police brutality, cyber-bullies his own Cabinet members, burns through senior staff like Gabe burns through diapers, and shies away from any opportunity to positively impact anyone other than his political base.

I have to teach my son consequences in a climate where it feels like they don't exist.

It is a very complicated time to be a father. I don't sleep well.

Navigating the road of first-time parenthood presents its own challenges and learning curve. The road, now? It's like driving a car in a falling rock zone, in full fog with my high beams on, waiting for a deer to jump in front of me.

A year ago, we crossed a bridge to forever. Today, we remember what we earned by remembering why we fight. We fought for equality because we didn't have it. Now we fight because we have it, and we aren't yielding it back.

So today, August 4, we remember the smart men who've come before us who remind us still that a dream is a wish your heart makes. We have dreamed that dream, we have wished on stars, and we have made it happen. And we recommit, as smart men, to fight for our son and our family with every breath, through the tumult and chaos of an uncertain future. To protect and defend, yes. Our family is forever. And we aren't going back.

Today is a big day for Gabe. But so is tomorrow.

Keep walking with us.

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

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Need a Sitter for Your Kids? Gays With Kids Reviews UrbanSitter

Back-to-school is already here for some of us, and if you're looking for a sitter to help out with school runs, after-school pick-ups, and the occasional date night, check out our review of UrbanSitter.

Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

While I appreciated the tip, I let him know that I was really hoping for a direct referral. But when none others came from the — other than a couple of middle schoolers looking for their first sitting jobs — I decided to give it a try.

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"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

"I immediately fell in love with the idea of a girl wanting to work hard and make something of herself," Rezaei continued. "I also have a nephew who has two dads, so it's a very personal issue for me. I want him to have role models when he's watching TV. I want him to feel like having two dads is completely normal. That's what this show is going to do for him."

Errico's book was first realized as an animation when Hulu created a short film based upon his writing and were interested in exploring the concept of a full series. "I watched the eight minutes on Hulu and at the end the prince and the knight get married and I was in tears," says Rezaei. Rezaei then stepped in to create all new art work including new character design by Tim Linklater and backgrounds by Sarita Kolhatra. Together, they created a kickass bible and pitched the series to Hulu and were successful.

Diversity and inclusivity is celebrated throughout The Bravest Knight, reflected by its casting choices. Nia is played by Storm Reid, from "A Wrinkle in Time," and her dads Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew are voiced by T.R. Knight and Wilson Cruz respectively. The star studded cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Steven Weber, Teri Polo, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski as the formidable Red Dragon.

"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

This is the Main Title Song for Big Bad Boo's Hulu Original Series "The Bravest Knight". The song is performed by Justin Tranter and composed by Michael Plow...


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.


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."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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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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Fearing the Russian government might take their adopted kids into custody because of their sexual orientation, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev fled Moscow

A married couple in Russia, with two adopted children, were just forced the flee their home in Moscow for fear that the authorities would take their children away, according to German news site Deutsche Welle.

Trouble started last month after investigators in Russia opened a criminal inquiry into the proceedings that had allowed the gay couple, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, to legally adopt the two boys —adoption by LGBTQ people in Russia has typically not been recognized. The government became aware of the adoption proceedings after the gay couple brought their 12-year-old son to the hospital, who was complaining of a stomachache. The boy was fine, but after he mentioned offhand that he was adopted and lived with two fathers, the doctor called the police.

Andrei and Yevgeny granted an interview with Deutsche Welle after escaping Moscow, but on the advice of their lawyers have yet to disclose where they are currently located. Here is a quick recap of that conversation:

"In connection with the 'propaganda of non-traditional values,' the state representatives are accused of having neglected their duty of supervision," Andrei said, when asked to explain on what basis the Russian government might take his children into custody. "This means that lesbian couples could even have their biological children taken away because, through their lifestyle choices, they propagate "certain values."

Yevgeny also explained the events that led to the couple's harrowing escape "I was alone in Moscow at that time. A week after Andrei and the children had left the country, there was a knock on my door, but nobody called 'police, open up.' After half an hour the violent knocking stopped. My parents' home was searched. They were looking for the children and our Danish marriage certificate because we got married in Denmark in 2016. My friends then got me out of the country."

Read the full interview here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple is Using 'Wheel of Fortune' Winnings to Help Fund Their Adoption

Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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