Gay Dad Life

Straight Talk on Gay Dads

Back when I wrote my first gay wedding book, I discovered a unique new tradition among, ironically, heterosexual folks. Many of them, after attending same-sex nuptials and having gay relatives marry, started rethinking their own weddings and the meaning of so many of those normally-not-questioned customs. Now, with so many gay men moving on to the next step and having children, I thought it would be interesting to ask some straight men and women what they’ve learned from their gay family counterparts. Here, some straight answers about gay dads.


“Well, kids of gay parents I know are among the luckiest in the world. Often rescued from dire situations, they are wanted, cherished, and nurtured. The only thing I have against gay male parents are that (so far) none have offered to adopt me! –Maryanne (Teacher), Atlanta, Georgia

“[I think] that my husband is frighteningly gay when it comes to parenting. He and our gay male friends are all besties. I’m the outsider.” –Alanna (Graphic Designer), New York City

“Although I’ve always been in favor of marriage equality, I honestly don’t think I ever realized how much gay men wanted to be parents until I started seeing them have families. I’ll sound like a bigot, but it seemed to make more sense with lesbians. And, yes, I know that’s ridiculous. If you grow up not thinking about it, as I did, and as people of my generation did, it really takes seeing them struggle and work hard and go through what my wife and I did a long time ago to truly understand the need. But now, it’s so common that I pretty much forget about any differences. I know quite a few gay men with young children and sometimes, if they’re having a hard day with their kids, I’ll joke and say, ‘Well, you wanted this.’ It’s only because it has become so acceptable that we can laugh with each other.” —Rick (Actor), Los Angeles

“People who want to foster a committed family, should. Sexual orientation doesn’t predict who is going to be a good parent; they do. In fact, since gay men have to fight harder to just be parents, it means more to them and they do a better job.” –Mary (Realtor), Tinley Park, Chicago, Illinois

“Play dates are a lot more fun with gay parents. The food is better and we have martinis instead of cheap wine or margaritas. I think we enjoy it more than the kids.” –John (“Corporate Worker Bee”), Charlotte, North Carolina

“I’ve learned that, like straight parents, we all worry that we are going to be judged and scrutinized. But gay men more so than heterosexual couples. My children are grown up now, but I know a few gay dads. So many times I want to give advice, in the same way that my mom gave me advice, and my friends gave me advice, and so often I fear that they will take it as judgment. Sometimes, I’m extra cautious in saying anything to a gay dad, which is terrible because I’m thrilled and proud to see gay men living out their dreams. There’s nothing more difficult than raising children, and I hope that, as gay rights progress, it will reduce the competition and judgment among all parents.” —Kelly (At-Home Mom), Long Island, New York

“Sometimes I get frustrated with my kids, and, in a weak moment, wonder if this is the life I was supposed to lead. But then I see my gay friends, newly married, who have waited so long to be parents. And I see the love they shower on their son. I realize how lucky I am to be a parent.” –Cheryl (Charity Fundraiser), Seattle, Washington

“They’re lucky. There’s no breast pump cleaning or getting into trouble when someone wants you to stop opening your blouse in the airport. My wife went through hell.”  --Todd (Voiceover Artist), Dallas, Texas

“I have grandchildren of my own and I have been to a million weddings. Last year I went to my first gay wedding, and the men’s little girl … she’s about six… was part of the ceremony. I have honestly never seen a better-behaved child at a wedding in my lifetime. I knew they must be doing something right.” –Yvonne, Lafayette, California

“What’s to learn? We all just want to love our kids and be the best parents we can be.” —Danielle (Event Planner), Millburn, New Jersey

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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.

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Interested in Foster Care? These Amazing Dads Have Some Advice

As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

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Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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