Gay Dad Life

Being Gay Didn't Hold These Men Back From Becoming Dads

Adam White and Eric Evans have been together for 12 years, and were married on June 25, 2014. They live in Crown Point, Indiana with their two children, Eric and Cora. Adam works as a Middle School Administrator, and Eric is a Director of Prevention Services. We caught up with the dads recently to see how life was treating them.

Tell us about your path to parenthood. When we decided it was time to start building our family, we did consider all possible options. However, it came down to cost. Surrogacy was too risky for us due to our financial constraints, so we chose adoption, specifically open adoption.

Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. Several years before we started our family, Eric's sister's family adopted internationally through China. While we did consider international adoption briefly, we quickly found out how few opportunities there were for same-sex couples.

At one point, the agency his sister used reached out to them again to see if they were interested in adopting a second time because of such a high need. This was about the time we had started the adoption process. However, even though the need was so great that the agency was reaching out to families who were not actively looking, we could not be considered because we are a same-sex couple. We encountered this obstacle several times as we were searching for the adoption agency to go through. Because of our financial situation at the time, agency price was a factor in selection. We discovered the low cost for adoption through agencies like Catholic Charities, but like the international adoption agency, they would not consider us as a perspective family because we are a same-sex couple.

How has your life changed since you became a father? Life has changed very little for us. What we considered to be important before children still is important to us now. We decide to utilize these opportunities and go together to teach life lessons and make family memories. Now, there are just many more bags to pack!

What have you learned from your kids since you became a dad? We both have learned to slow down. In a blink of an eye, children grow up. Neither us realized how quickly this happens. And now, after 4 short years, our son is almost ready to start school. We have learned to place priority on what is truly important in order to cherish the time together and make lasting memories. We have also learned the joy of innocence. Experiencing life through the eyes of a 4 year old and a 1 year old is magical. It allows us to be silly, messy, and carefree.

Was there ever a moment that you or your husband experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? While there were moments of doubt and struggle in the journey, there was never a moment that cast such a doubt on our dream to have a family that we felt we could not overcome the obstacle.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? We have been very fortunate to not experience any instances of discrimination or being treated differently because our family is made up of two dads. We are very fortunate to have our children part of organizations, such as their daycare/preschool, that not only respect our family make up but go out of their way to ensure that both our children never feel as if they are different.

What we quickly realized once we started growing our family was how "mommy" focused family building is. Baby registries and company programs, such as Amazon Mom, showed us how society placed much of child raising on either the woman or parents made up of a mom and a dad. The reactions we would get from family outings and family programs soon felt as if we were serving as the "poster dads" for same sex couples, whether we wanted to or not, when we just needed a good deal on diapers or an energy outlet for the kids.

Additionally, once becoming dads, we became cognizant of forms that automatically asked for information about "mom" and "dad." When possible, we try to send a subtle message by crossing out the words “dad" and “mom" and inserting “parent."

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Be patient! There were times during the adoption of both of our kids that we thought it would never happen. Through open adoption, you are at the mercy of the process. There are few ways to speed things up and, for us, that caused both stress and anxiety that we should be doing more. No matter what we did, though, it did not make our kids come faster.

Know that things happen for a reason. During both our adoptions, we had failed connections. The hardest one was with our first child. After almost a year into the process and so very green to adoption, we were connected with a birth mother. She was so certain about us that, when we found out about her, she had already signed the initial paperwork. We ended up having dinner with her twice and things were going so well. We felt that we could invite our family and friends in on the process by sharing the news of this connection. We also started shopping and setting up the nursery. And then one day, she disappeared. We both were devastated and began to mourn the loss of this child we built up in our minds. Several month later, we got a call and were connected with the birth mother of our now son. In looking back, we realize that if it were not for the failed connection, we would never have our son. At the time it was impossible to understand, but we know that things happen for a reason. And this was the greatest lesson we remembered as we went through the adoption process for the second time.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? As we imagined building our family, we looked forward to the experiences that naturally come with raising children. From school events to music lessons and sports, we both relish in the thoughts of the busyness that is having children as the upcoming years pass.

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For More Stories on Adoption:

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After 12 Years of Struggle, Richard and Carlos are Finally Dads

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Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

News

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We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Politics

Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."

Politics

Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Fatherhood, the gay way

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