Toddlers

Stories Gay Dads Tell Their Kids About Adoption and Surrogacy

We've published 1,200 stories on Gays With Kids, many of which were written to help gay men become dads and to help gay dads navigate fatherhood. Within the pages of our website, you'll find inspiring and even heroic stories involving families created through adoption and foster care, surrogacy, co-parenting and heterosexual relationships. Throughout each of these stories are two common themes: the incredible loving bond between dad and child, and the realization that even those who share similar paths to fatherhood encounter experiences that make their journeys uniquely their own.

Like any family, our kids are interested in learning how their families came to be. Given the inherent complexities involved in creating many of our families, it can seem like a complicated task. To help you, we've shared the stories we created for our own families.

We adopted our son at birth and his twin sisters joined our family through surrogacy just 17 months later. Here are the stories we share with them about how our family came to be.

Levi – An Adoption Story


This is the story of a boy. Not just any boy, oh no. This is the story of the most amazing boy in the world.

But let me begin at the beginning. Once upon a time, there were two people, Brian and Ferd, who loved each other very much. How could they be so sure? That’s easy: they knew it in their hearts.

Brian and Ferd had loved each other for a long time and they were very happy. But in their hearts they knew something was missing. No, not something; someone. They really wanted a family. Little kids they could take care of, watch grow up and love as much as any kids had ever been loved. How could they be so sure? That’s easy: they knew it in their hearts.

Brian and Ferd are boys, and boys can’t have babies growing in their bellies. So they asked everyone they knew, and lots of people they didn’t know, if they knew of a baby who needed a family. They looked for weeks and months and years. It was taking so long they were beginning to think it would never happen.

But then, one day, Brian and Ferd got a phone call. They were told that a woman in Brooklyn had just given birth to a baby boy. This woman couldn’t take care of the baby, so he needed a family. Brian and Ferd were asked if they could give this boy a loving home.

Give the boy a loving home? Of course they could! For all these years this is what they had been hoping for! They rushed to the hospital in Brooklyn, and there they laid eyes on the most amazing boy, with the shiniest black hair, the softest caramel skin, and the cutest dimple on his left cheek.

I told you, this is the story of a boy. That boy. The moment Brian and Ferd saw that boy, they fell in love with him. They became his Daddy and Papa and name him Levi Parlow Rosenberg-Van Gameren, after different family members. They knew they would love him forever and ever. How could they be so sure? That’s easy: they knew it in their hearts.

Ella and Sadie – A Surrogacy Story

This next story is about two girls. Not just any girls, oh no. This is the story of the two most special girls in the world.

But let me begin at the beginning of this story too. Papa Ferd and Daddy Brian now had a son Levi, and they were even happier than before. But they wanted Levi to have siblings so they could all play together. They were really hoping to have a larger family, with more little kids they could take care of, watch grow up and love as much as any kids had ever been loved. How could they be so sure? That’s easy: they knew it in their hearts.

But, as you know, Papa and Daddy are boys, and boys can’t have babies growing in their bellies. So this time, they looked for a woman who could grow their babies in her belly for them. They looked and looked and looked and finally, they found her in West Virginia. The name of this very special woman was Annie*.

Annie said she would love to carry and give birth to Daddy and Papa’s babies. And so she did: for almost nine months (that’s how long it takes!) she had two little baby girls growing in her belly. And when it was almost time, she went to the hospital. Just a few minutes later two little girls were born.

Brian & Ferd with their twins Sadie (left) and Ella just a few hours after their birth

I told you, this is the story of two girls. Those two girls. Daddy and Papa arrived at the hospital, rushed to Annie’s room, and there they laid eyes on those two most special girls in the world. One was a little bigger, with lots of gorgeous dark hair, the most beautiful hazel eyes and the longest eyelashes; they named her Sadie Nel Rosenberg-Van Gameren. The other one was a little smaller, with the fairest hair and the clearest, bluest eyes; they called her Ella Judith Rosenberg-Van Gameren.

As soon as Daddy and Papa laid eyes on these girls, they fell in love with them. They knew they would love them forever and ever. How could they be so sure? That’s easy: they knew it in their hearts.

Read gay dad David Blacker's “How You Came To Us” story for his son.

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Gabe is changing, from my little baby to a big boy, one Puff at a time, and it’s driving me crazy.
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Dr. Antwon Chavis is a general pediatrician practicing in Portland, Oregon. Antwon has a wide array of interests, such as adolescent medicine, mental health, and working with children and adolescents with behavioral or developmental issues. He and his partner, Nate, are proud fathers of two cats, Doc and Blerg.
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At first, Gabe just wanted to flip them around the living room floor with his right hand. Then he started to pick them up. And then came the banging, the endless, eardrum-shattering, breath-shortening, stomach-churning banging. And now, I’m sitting on my couch watching my 11-month old son grab one, crawl across the room clutching it, and deposit it on the shelf of a Fisher-Price kitchen oven.

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Popular

'Our Family is Complete': Congrats to Gay Dads on Their Recent Births and Adoptions!

Join us in congratulating all of the gay men in our community whose families grew recently!

Wishing all of these gay dads congratulations on their exciting news this month. From becoming first-time dads to finalizing adoptions, congrats to everyone in our community on their wonderful news!

Circle Surrogacy is the proud sponsor of this month's congrats post. They were founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. "For over 20 years we've helped LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!"

Congratulations to Andrew and Edward on finalizing the adoptions of their twins!

For Andrew and Edward, their foster parent training plus home study took about a year. "We had a brief placement of twin girls that were four years old two months after we had been approved," said Andrew. "Then we took a break as it was a difficult process, the 'loss' aspect, when that placement ended."

Then on March 15, 2017, their case worker sent them information about two little babies - a boy and a girl - that were still in the NICU and only nine days old. "It was a foster case with an uncertain future, but we decided those little babies needed us!" They dads took a leap of faith and on July 10 this year, their twins' adoptions were finalized. Andrew and Edward have a wonderful bond with the paternal grandmother as well as a special relationship with the twins' father. "We all love these twins, and the more love they have the better their lives will be."

"Adoption is one of those experiences where one side experiences incredible joy while the other side experiences incredible loss," continued Andrew. "We are grateful to experience this joy knowing that biological family members are happy for us to experience that joy."

Congratulations to this Mt Airy, Philadelphia, forever family of four!

Congratulations to Sean and Thomas on finalizing the adoptions of their twins!

Together 15 years, London couple Sean and Thomas recently finalized the adoption of their twins.

"About 3 years ago we started meeting adoption agencies and were approved as prospective adopters the following spring," shared Thomas. "We were anticipating a long wait, but quite quickly were matched with our twins. At the time they were nearly five."

After a fairly long transition period for everyone to get settled in, the adoption was formalized the day after Father's Day. "Two years after matching, at times it seems like the kids have been with us forever and other times a blink of an eye. But it is certainly the most life-changing, transformative experience and we cannot imagine life without them. It's wonderful that our family is now official!"

Congratulations to Phillip and Clinton on the birth of their daughter Madison!

Little Madison joined her dads on July 1, 2019, after coming into the world via surrogate.

"I caught Madison as she was born," said Phillip. "I have never felt such an exhilarating rush in my entire life! We were genuinely in love at first sight!"

Now that we Phillip and Clinton are dads, they say they feel a "sense of wholeness" in their lives! "We have a new motivation and purpose in life! It's truly the greatest blessing!"

These new dads and the apple of their eye live in Texas.

Congratulations to Michael and Tyler on the birth of their twins, Elliot and Oliver!

Herriman, Utah, couple Michael and Tyler have been together for 9 years, and married for 3. "In the beginning of our relationship we knew how important family was and how much we wanted to be dads," said Micheal. "After we got married we met with a couple surrogacy agencies and were advised to meet with an IVF clinic before proceeding. In doing so, we found that going through a surrogacy journey independently was very possible."

So the dads decided to shift gears and work in that direction, booking a follow up appointment with the clinic. "We met with their 3rd party coordinator over the surrogate process and she did not have any inquiries of any surrogates." Serendipitously, and unbeknownst to the husbands at the time, their future surrogate made an appointment to talk about being a gestational carrier for a same-sex couple. "The next day we got the unexpected call that someone was interested and open to meet. From there the rest was history as we continued with the surrogacy process."

Over a year later, the dads welcomed their two sons. "The first time we got to hold the boys, it felt so natural to us, as if nothing else in the world existed and time stood still as we got lost in the moment."

Congratulations to Adam and Josh on finalizing the adoption of their daughter!

Adam and Josh got engaged on Good Morning America on Valentines Day, and welcomed their Christmas miracle baby into their lives on December 26th. On July 12 this year, they celebrated becoming a forever family of three.

"For an event that always seemed like it would be the end of our adoption journey, Baby K's Finalization Day felt more like the beginning of a greater adventure," shared Adam. "Since day one, Baby K was always loved and 100% part of our family, but we are so filled with joy to see this day come and make it officially official. We cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives not only watching Baby K grow and develop, but also to see the two of us learn and grow in this new role as parents."

Congrats to these Dallas dads!

Congratulations to Dan and Martin on the birth of their son Herman! 

Copenhagen couple Dan and Martin welcomed their second child through surrogacy on July 11 this year in Florida, USA. Herman joins big sister Ellen, born March 1, 2015, in Vermont via surrogacy. Here's a little more.

"Two amazing American women and their families took us in as their own and we're forever bonded," said Dan about their path to fatherhood experience. "It has been an amazing journey with both of them, our family is complete."

Congrats to the Danish family!

This post is sponsored by Circle Surrogacy

Circle was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. To this day, that belief is at the core of everything we do. For over 20 years we've helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world... and counting!

We're an agency comprised of social workers and lawyers, accountants and outreach associates, and program managers and coordinators; but, more importantly, we're an agency made up of parents, surrogates and egg donors, who are passionate about helping people build their families, and invested in each and every journey.

Circle is proud to have helped so many gay families achieve their dreams of becoming parents. Together, we make parenthood possible.®

News

Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals.

In a post on Facebook, Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, came out as gay. He also discussed his strained relationship with his Mormon faith, claiming he felt he didn't feel comfortable living as an openly gay man in a church with a difficult history with respect to its LGBTQ members. He and his wife, Lois, have filed for divorce.

"This is one of the hardest letters I have ever written," he began the letter. "Hard because I am finally acknowledging a part of me that I have struggled with most of my life and never wanted to accept, but I must be true and honest with myself." He went on to acknowledged a new set of challenges facing he and his family as they navigate a divorce and his coming out — in the public eye, no less — but concluded, ultimately, that it's a "huge relief" to be "honest and truthful about my orientation."

He went on to condemn The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. "I didn't want to face the feelings I fought so hard to suppress, and didn't want to reach out and tell those being ostracized that I too am numbered among them. But I cannot do that any longer."

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Ed Smart further discussed his reasons for coming out now, as a 64-year-old man.

"I mean, I knew that it would probably come out at some point, just because people can't leave things alone. I did anticipate that it would happen at some time, but my intention in writing it was to try to let my friends and family know, you know my extended family ... know where things were. So, you know, I was really concerned about how the rumor mill starts," he told the paper. "I knew that at some point in time, that would come out," he elaborated. "I didn't know when it would come out, and so I would rather have it come out the way that it did versus having some rumors going around, and you know the crazy way things can get twisted."

In 2002, Ed Smart's daughter Elizabeth was abducted at knife point by a married couple from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. She suffered physical and sexual abuse at the couple's hands, for nine months, until she was finally rescued by police. During the ordeal, papers — including the Salt Lake Tribute — speculated about Ed Smart's sexual orientation based on some fabricated information sold to the paper by tabloids like the National Enquirer. (The Enquirer retracted the story, and the reporters at the Tribute were ultimately fired.)

"I think that in April I started feeling like I needed to prepare something," Smart told the Tribute. "Because during Elizabeth's ordeal, there were things said, and it wasn't what I wanted to say, and I was not going to allow that to happen again."

As to how his family has taken the news, Smart said they've been "very kind" to him. "I think it was very difficult to have this kind of come out of the blue. I don't think any of them knew I was struggling with this, so it was something they were, if you want to call it, blindsided by. I totally get that. They've really been very wonderful."

Congrats to Ed Smart on making the difficult decision to live his truth. Read his full letter here and his interview with the Tribute here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

"Rollercoaster and Sons," Explores the Journey of One Single Gay Dad Through the Foster-Adopt System

When it comes to the foster-adopt system, "there is no roadmap," said single gay dad Chase Turner

Guest post written by Chase Turner

Many of us thought long and hard about what avenues were best to pursue being a dad. For me, fostering to adoption was the selected road. There is no roadmap here, many things that came my way were learned by doing. Along the way, I started wishing I had a better support group or people who could understand what it's like to be gay and attempting to adopt. Often we (people who are LGBT) feel scrutinized and judged for choices that the majority makes but for us there is pushback. Once my adoption was complete, I felt it was necessary that I put pen to paper and write this story, from a gay male perspective.

My goal was to provide a voice in the space of foster care and adoption where there is a void. Additionally, I wanted to provide an authentic look at all facets of the process, from the kids, to the obstacles and challenges that happened within my personal life. I do hope you enjoy and more importantly can relate or prepare yourself for a similar journey.

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Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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