Gay Dad Life

"I Don't Feel Empty Anymore": A Single Gay Man Finds Happiness at Home

31-year-old Guillermo Arias is a single dad to daughter Astrid who was born via surrogacy on April 4, 2017. Raised in the Dominican Republic, along with three siblings, by his mom, Guillermo moved to the U.S. in 2008. He married his partner of 3 years in 2015 but they have since separated. His ex was already a dad to an adopted 11-year-old boy when they met. It was this relationship that sparked a fire inside Guillermo to become a dad as well. Here's his story.


Tell us about your path to fatherhood. I was in a relationship for 3 years and my ex-husband had an adopted son he had with his ex partner. When we moved in together I had no idea I was going to also fall so deeply in love with this child. This kid showed me what unconditional love meant, he even called me Dad. Every time he would leave for vacation or holidays with his other Dad my heart would be broken. I spoke to my ex about having a child through surrogacy but he never agreed. When we broke up, I immediately started looking at options.

As soon as I moved out I went to the Dominican Republic and spoke to my brother, who is a doctor, about my desire to have a child. He immediately put me in contact with an amazing clinic that literally did everything for me, and so we started the process. Transference of embryo happened on August 9th 2016, and at the end of the same month I was told that I was expecting a baby. In December, I found out I was having a girl, which freaked me out. I had originally hoped for a boy. But I started getting ready anyway. I got everything I needed for her. And on April 4th 2017 at 5:30PM my Princess Astrid Del Carmen Arias was born at 7.5 pounds. I have to say that I would not change my Nana for 100 baby boys in this world. Parenthood with her has exceeded my expectations one million percent.

Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. My path to having my child was very smooth, My beautiful daughter was born in the Dominican Republic because the price for surrogacy back there is 3 times cheaper than doing it here in the US (where I reside). My biggest challenge throughout the whole pregnancy was that I did not see the surrogate mother even once. I did not return to the Dominican Republic until the day of the birth, so I had to be okay only looking at pictures of her belly, videos and the staff from the clinic telling me that everything was okay. I wish I had been closer to her.

How has your life changed since you became a father? I am writing this with tears in my face... Having my daughter has been the greatest challenge yet the most rewarding experience I have ever and will ever have. I used to be a party boy, like everyone in my age range (30). I used to be out 5 out of 7 days a week, I used to travel to go to clubs and party brunches and a lot of crazy stuff. Astrid came to give me that light my life needed, deep inside I was so all over the place because I felt empty inside. I would smile the whole time while I was out drinking but after getting into my apartment tears would shed out of my eyes uncontrollably. When my daughter was born everything changed. I am a more responsible man. I live for her, everything I do, I do it with her in my mind. I do not feel empty anymore. She's reciprocating that love I give her and I am over the clouds. It's definitely not easy, but with no doubt the best decision I have ever made.

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? My daughter is extra special. She's a bit cranky and moody and has this strong personality I discovered since she was a few days born. I had no experience whatsoever in parenting and instead of reading, I started asking everyone in my circle with children about their experience and I absorbed as much as I could. But no one ever told me how tough it is to have a new born. I am blessed and grateful for this patience I have developed since Astrid was born.

Was there ever a moment that you experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself. I was always sure I wanted to do it. The economic part is always something to consider, but beyond that, no.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? My family has been very supportive of me since day one. My mother had a bit of a rough time accepting it but with time she understood how strong of a man I am and that I am not the kind of guy who would allow anyone disrespect and she respects me for that.

What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? With a big smile I tell everyone that having a child is the best decision I have ever made. My daughter has changed my life completely for good. I have a reason to live and she's my very own. I am glad I do not have to share my paternity with anyone, but I won't lie. Doing this as a single father is no easy job. Would I do it again? Yes, only through the same process. I never considered adoption as an option for me.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I would love to be able to raise my daughter in the Dominican Republic, at least a few years because I want her to speak Spanish as well as me. And I want her to have a little of what I had while I was growing up back home.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? In a world where relationships come and go I always thought that what I was looking for was going to be given to me by a man. I could not be any more wrong. My child is the best thing I have ever experience and I have grown so much. I am a completely different human being now.

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Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

Gay Dad Life

"Fridays with Fitz": A New Kid's Book Based Upon the Son of These Two Dads

Tracey Wimperly, author of the new children's book, said she hopes to give a more honest portrayal of the role grandparents play in the lives of children.

Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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