Gay Dad Life

These Gay Dads Are Helping Spread Awareness of LGBTQ Families in the U.K.

Thanks to their feature in an Audi commercial and a Daily Mail article, bloggers and gay dads Michael and Wes are enjoying some time in the limelight and helping spread awareness of LGBTQ families in the process

Photo credit: Daily Mail

These last few years have been crazy, both highs and lows, for my husband Wes and me. We've been together for 6 years and married for 4 of those this month. We're very lucky to have two beautiful daughters, Talulah who is 2 in October, born using a surrogate, and Katie who is 14 in September, who was from Wes's previous marriage. During this time, we've also enjoyed helping spread awareness of LGBTQ families in the U.K. by sharing our experience with others via our blog, interviews with media outlets, and even a commercial with Audi. This summer, we started our second surrogacy journey again, and are excited to share our experiences with Gays With Kids, both the highs and lows, over the next year or so.


This past Spring, we appeared in a commercial for Audi, which showcased us living our lives, just like any other family. In their "Future Families" campaign, Audi features not just same-sex families like ours, but also mixed-race, single dads and moms and more. In the spot, they asked us to send a message to our kids, 20 years in the future. Specifically, they wanted to know our thoughts: what do we hope "family" will mean to the world in the future? The commercial has gone on to become one of Audi's best online campaigns to date. Again, a sign of progress.

Check out the ad below:

Even more recently, we were interviewed by the Daily Mail for a piece about the 40th anniversary of the birth of the IVF procedure. The article, which was really well received, focused on how the treatment had evolved in the four decades since it's been around, and how same-sex couples have come to rely on the practice to start their families.

We are working with the paper on a follow up piece that will focus solely on our TwoDads.U.K Facebook page that we co-manage. The group was designed to raise awareness and create opportunities for gay men with kids to network and meet other same-sex families across the country. We host regular meet ups and would to hear from other same sex families or those wanting to embark on the journey to get in touch with us.

On our Facebook page, we'll also plan to cover our second surrogacy journey, which began earlier this summer and has already been a rollercoaster ride. Our daughter Talulah's IVF experienced worked effortless on the first attempt, so something told me from the beginning that our second journey wouldn't be smooth sailing. However, I'm remaining positive as the process is stressful enough, even when everything goes according to plan.

We conducted a transfer to our surrogate this past June, and then had an agonizing two week wait familiar to any parent who has gone through this process. Sadly, we also found out on the Monday following the transfer that our remaining embryos didn't develop far enough to warrant being frozen. So all of our hopes were placed on the one we transferred the week before. This was disappointing news, but not all hope was lost. After all – it only takes one.

Our two week wait was filled with a ton of excitement a bucket-loads of nerves. It was a real combination of emotions. We blogged the lead up on our Facebook Page to give everyone an understanding of the journey of creating embryos – and the feedback was really interesting. Sharing this experience was risky, and one we discussed at length as a couple – but we felt its important to share the experience so others can understand the possibilities, whatever the outcome may be.

After our two week wait, sadly the result was negative. Naturally, we were gutted, as was our surrogate. It's sometimes easy to forget that the impact of delaying treatment has implications on her work and home life, too. Already, her 40th Birthday was going to clash with the potential of being 35-weeks pregnant.

So, that brings us to today: we decided to take a month break from treatment. We took the break partly to be matched to a new egg donor with the characteristics we wanted – luckily the wait wasn't very long at all and within a few weeks our new egg donor commenced further tests. We're now looking at starting our treatment in early September and look forward to keeping everyone updated again. We've found that sharing our experience with others helps to clear our heads, while also hopefully supporting other couples experiencing the same.

I'm proud of the tiny ripples we're making for same-sex families. Waves are now starting to form and I feel like we're being heard, that people are listening to us as a community and taking our parenting seriously. To be continued!

Next Blog – The experience of vacationing to a Muslim country, as a married gay couple with children

Follow us on Twitter @Twodaddies.uk

Facebook and Instagram @twodads.u.k

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Politics

Daughter of Married Gay Couple Who Used Surrogacy Abroad Isn't Citizen, Says U.S. State Department

A decades-old law can be used to discriminate against gay couples who use surrogacy abroad.

James Derek Mize and his husband Jonathan Gregg are both American citizens, but their daughter, born via a surrogate, may not be, at least according to the U.S. State Department.

The New York Times took an in-depth look at this case in a piece that ran in the paper yesterday. While James was born and raised in the U.S, his husband Jonathan was originally born in Britain. That may be enough, according to the State Department, to deny their daughter citizenship.

"We're both Americans; we're married," James told the New York Times. "We just found it really hard to believe that we could have a child that wouldn't be able to be in our country."

According to decades-old immigration law, a child born abroad must have a biological connection to a parent that is a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to receive citizenship upon birth. Children born via surrogacy are determined to be "out of wedlock," according to the Times report," which then requires a more onerous process to qualify for citizenship, such as demonstrating that a biological parent is not only an American citizen, but has spent at least five years in the country.

The intent of the law, which dates back to the 1950s, was to prevent people from claiming, falsely, that they are the children of U.S. parents. But LGBTQ advocates argue this archaic policy is being used intentionally to discriminates against same-sex couples, who often have to rely on donors, IVF and surrogacy in order to have biologically children, and are thus held to a higher standard.

"This is where our life is. This is where our jobs are," James told the Times. "Our daughter can't be here, but she has no one else to care for her."

Read the whole story here.


Gay Dad Life

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Filmmaker Hao Wu's latest documentary, released on Netflix this past week, explores his coming out story and his path to becoming a gay dad via surrogacy in the United States. Viewers watch as Wu comes out to his Chinese parents, who are not accepting of his sexual orientation.

As the film's synopsis notes, Wu, the only male descendant in his Chinese family, was "raised with a certain set of expectations - excel at school, get a good job, marry, and have kids." He achieves each of these goals, but as a gay man, he hasn't done so in the way his family had hoped. The film follows Wu brings his husband and children to China to meet his family, many of who are still unaware of his sexual orientation.

"I wanted to show the challenges for gay people of Chinese descent, what kind of cultural and generational barriers and differences they have to negotiate in order to build a family of their own," Wu said in an interview with InkStone.

Watch the moving documentary in full here.


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Gay Dads Featured in Enfamil Commercial

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The best kind of inclusion is when you're not singled out but instead included right along with everyone else. This kind inclusion inspires others to pursue their own dreams and desires, just like any one else. As part of our popular culture, we know that brands are uniquely suited to inspire us in this way.

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When you're a young couple it's easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.

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Popular

Couple That Met at the Gym Now Spotting Each Other Through Fatherhood

How two real New-Yorkers became two soft-hearted dads

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.

Byron and Matthew Slosar, both 41, met ten years ago at one of New York City's Equinox gyms. "I asked him for a spot on the bench press," smiled Byron. The couple were married September 22, 2012.

Surrogacy was always the way Byron and Matthew wanted to become parents. They chose to wait and become dads later in life, until they had established careers and the financial means to pursue their chosen path.

They signed with Circle Surrogacy after interviewing a few agencies. "We immediately connected with their entire staff, particularly Anne Watson who lovingly dealt with my healthy neuroses on the daily for 1.5 years," said Byron. "They definitely personalized the service and helped us understand all 2,000 moving parts." The dads-to-be were also very impressed with how much emotional support they received from Circle.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Adopting an Older Child Through Foster Care Was the Best Path for These Dads

After learning more about older-child adoption through You Gotta Believe, Mark and Andrew decided it was the best way for them to form their family.

"Hey! I got adopted today! These are my dads, Mark and Andrew!"

Jeremy was 16 years old when he found out his new dads wanted to adopt him.

In late August 2017, husbands Mark and Andrew Mihopulos, 34 and 36 respectively, remember driving out to the east end of Long Island. They knew at the very same moment they were driving, social workers were letting Jeremy know they wanted to adopt him. "We expected Jeremy to be hesitant or feel mixed emotions," shared Mark. "We didn't know how he would feel about having two dads and about having white parents and family, as he is a black young man."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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