Gay Dad Life

How Do Gay Dads Raise Kids in an Interfaith Household?

How do gay dads of different faiths choose to raise kids? The Daddy Squared guys tackle the issue in their latest episode.

How do you raise kids with dads from separate faith backgrounds? Interfaith relationships are not uncommon in the gay community, and with the 'gaybies' explosion, some couples choose to raise their kids with awareness of both partners' religious backgrounds. We spoke to Ferd and Brian, fathers, husbands, and founders of Gays With Kids about religion and faith, and building a home where both Christmas and Hannukah are celebrated, though with a clear understanding that Brian's passion to raise the kids Jewish strongly outweighs Ferd's interest in Catholicism in their home.



"We surely came by dads who have different faiths and traditions and they celebrate them both," explains Brian Rosenberg, who co-founded GaysWithKids.com with husband Ferd van Gameren, "the idea is that the children have a good understanding of the background of both religions and they will get to make their on decisions and choices when the are adults."

Having been together for almost three decades, Ferd and Brian started blending their holidays a long time ago. "We used to be more relaxed about how we spent them," Brian says. But since becoming dads, they are much more focused on celebrating holidays that hold special meaning for them. "We've been creating new traditions around these holidays that I hope will stay with our kids well into their adult lives."

Our conversation with Brian and Ferd sparked some thoughts about what kind of people, in general, find a partner with a different religious background. "When you are a single person looking for a partner and the religion is really, really important for you, I would imagine that you then primarily look for a partner in the pool of people who have the same religion as you," says Ferd.

We came out of the interview with a realization that men who marry men from other religious backgrounds are open to establish an interfaith household to begin with, just out of love and respect for their partner's heritage. Nevertheless, Brian emphasizes that religion and traditions should be something that an interfaith couple should discussed as part of the overall conversation and research prior to having kids.

"You need to talk about it upfront before you become dads [so you'll have a vision on the environment in which you raise your kids]. I think that so often in relationships, when they fall apart or where there are big challenges it's because of a lack of communication, and a subject like culture and traditions should definitely be discussed."

Change the World

How to Deal with "Dad Shaming"

In the latest episode of Daddy Squared, we take a deep dive into the issue of "dad shaming" with guest Jeremy Hooper of GLAAD

Almost every dad has suffered some unwanted criticism either on social media or in real life, from people who 'know better' about parenting. Dad shaming is a thing, parents tend to judge other parents, and it manifests itself both on social media and in real life, making dads just feel awful about themselves. As a follow-up to our Pride episode, we talk about the opposite of pride – shame. We brought on Jeremy Hooper, a writer and consultant for GLAAD, who has been dad-shamed before he even left the hospital with his newborn, to discuss dealing with dad shaming, 'momsplaining,' and other forms of criticism.

On the eve of publishing this episode we received an email from a person who chose to remain anonymous but made sure he let us know that he had heard one of us asking our kids not to touch every single item on the Starbucks counter and the way we talked to them made him 'concerned that we are beating our children.' Less than a year ago we confronted a mom who literally told us we're bad fathers because we didn't handle a parenting situation like she would. Dad shaming is everywhere, and it happens to almost all of us, and it hurts. Even if we pretend that it doesn't.

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Change the World

How Can We Instill Pride in Our Kids?

With Pride Season upon us, the Daddy Squared guys take a look at pride celebrations from the perpspective of a gay parent.

What is Pride? As Pride Month is now upon us, we wanted to take a look at pride a little more from the parenting perspective: how can we instill self-pride in our kids – pride for our kids in who they are and in where they come from? We turned to Ariel Foxman, a writer, a journalist and a thinker, to talk about the issue. We hope that our conversation will inspire you.

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Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Shares His Experiences Raising a Trans Son on Latest Episode of Daddy Square

Author David Strah sat down with the Daddy Squared guys to talk about fatherhood, his book, and experiences raising a trans son

Here's a fact: gay parents are much more attentive to their kids' gender expressions than heterosexual parents. Just from the nature of growing up different, sometimes in an unwelcoming environment, we don't want our kids to suffer the emotional pain that we went through.

This is a partial explanation for an amazing growing phenomenon, where gay couples step forward and adopt transgender youth who were thrown out of their homes. In this episode of Daddy Squared we brought on David Strah, a family therapist from Los Angeles who specializes in LGBTQ issues. David is also a father of a transgender boy, and shares from his own personal experience.

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Dads Ask: Can We Make Surrogacy Cheaper?

The guys behind Daddy Squared are back with the second season of their podcast! And they're starting by tackling a common question: why is surrogacy so expensive?

Through our podcast we have met so many dads in various stages of the parenthood journey. But whether it's in gay dad Facebook groups or in face-to-face interaction, there's no doubt that the biggest issue gay dads tackle is the cost of surrogacy.

Bringing a biological baby into the world can cost $180,000. For twins it can be around a quarter million. The biggest question is: Can we make it cheaper?

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Gay Dad Life

'Nancy' Podcast Examines the Cost of Becoming a Parent While Queer

As part of a series on financial concerns facing LGBTQ people, WNYC podcast "Nancy" examines the (considerable) costs associated with becoming a queer parent.

WNYC podcast Nancy recently launched a series examining different financial concerns facing LGBTQ people--many of which our heterosexual counterparts aren't subjected to. Among the first topics they tackled, fittingly enough, is focused on the costs of becoming a parent while queer, a subject we've covered at length for gay, bi, and trans men.

As part of the podcast, hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu discuss whether they, themselves, hope to have kids one day in the future. While Kathy says she's "meh" on the subject of children, Tobin says he would like to pursue parenthood at some point, and always figured adoption would be the right path for him. But, he said, it wasn't until he worked on this segment on the financial concerns of queer parents, where he learned adoption can cost upwards of $40,000, that he realized how out of reach adoption can be for many queer people.

"I've imagined that maybe I would adopt," he says. "But, before working on this series, I sort of imagined it would just be, like, the one fee for adoption and nothing else. And so now, I'm like, "Oh, I gotta save!"

The podcasters also feature a message from a gay dad named Jason Becton, who lives with his husband Evan in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they own and operate MarieBette Cafe. "The business is named after our daughters, Marion and Betty, who are aged 5 and 7," he said. "When we were looking to adopt, we had two options: foster-adopt and private adoption. For our first daughter, we chose foster-to-adopt which actually didn't cost anything for us. And during the time that we were fostering her, we were given a stipend by the state and training was actually paid for as well. So that was pretty good."

For their second daughter, however, the couple adopted with the help of a private lawyer, which was much more costly. "I don't know the exact amount but it was probably somewhere between $21,000 and $23,000," he said. "My advice for couples at the beginning of this process is to really try to explore your options and do as much research as possible. If you choose to go the foster-to-adopt option, make sure that you emotionally prepare yourself for the possibility that it may not work out and also be realistic with what kind of situations you're willing to take on."

Jason also added a point we've heard echoed by many gay dads over the years: the cost is rarely something you dwell on much more once you've successfully formed your family. "It's been six years, almost, since we adopted Betty and I don't really think about the expense anymore," he said. "I love my kids. And it definitely was worth it for me to go through building our family through adoption."

Listen to the whole podcast below:



Change the World

Noodle Loaf's "A Family Can" Song Includes Gay Dads

The host of the podcast "Noodle Loaf" reveals why he included same-sex parents in a new song called "A Family Can."

Guest post written by Dan Saks of Noodle Loaf

Hello gay dads! Dan Saks, creator and host of Noodle Loaf, an interactive music themed podcast for kids here to share a new song called "A Family Can" that was featured on my most recent episode. I wrote the song after hearing of a negative review a fellow kids podcaster received regarding her inclusion of same-sex parents in one of her show's stories. Rather than sit around and feel upset about that reviewer's world view I decided to work same-sex parents (as well as other varieties of parents) into one of my show's musical numbers.

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Gay Dad Life

From Stay-at-Home Dad to Work-at-Home Dad

In our latest Daddy Square podcast, Craig Sauer explains how being a stay-at-home gay dad is tougher in some ways than a "traditional" job

Don't mislead yourself: Stay-at-Home parenting is a full-time job - or more. It may be even tougher than the 'traditional' job because there're no days off, no sick days, no Medical, Dental and Vision coverage and no bonuses at the end of the year. Nevertheless, many dads choose to stay at home to take care of the kid(s). Some of them do it out of need to give their kids the 100% care they've always wished for, others do it as a part of a complete change in their life's direction.

We spoke with Craig Sauer, who chose to stay at home and take care of his three kids until they were old enough that he could follow his passion of photography and turn it into a business involving 3D Real Estate photography. Craig talked about being jobless before the kids came along and what part that played in his committing to be a stay-at-home dad, his full-time daddy job, and the transition to being a WAHD: Work At Home Dad.

Craig says that having a stay-at-home dad can result in some guilt in the partner. Therefore, he advices to couples who consider having one of them stay at home to have the roles of each one of them clearly defined before the baby comes.

"Not that one person has to do everything," Craig explains, "but it will be easier if one person will be Chief Management Officer of the household.

"One of the choices that we made was that I was up all night with the kids, and I was like 'don't be guilty, go sleep. I need you to be able to make your decisions for your job to bring us money, and when I'm stumbling through the day so you'll be able to say hey I think you're boiling the baby instead of the dinner' or something. So going into this with those roles agreed upon and defined was really helpful to us."


Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Craig Sauer, Craig Sauer 3D
Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here
Articles referred to in this episode:
Most Americans say children are better off with a parent at home (Pew Research Center)
The Amazing Journey These Gay Dads Took To Build Their Family (Huff Post)
Stay-at-home moms turning into WAHMs (CNN)
Daddy Square: The Podcast, Episode 2
'The everyday sexism I face as a stay-at-home dad' (BBC)


Fatherhood, the gay way

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