2020 Wasn't ALL Bad — These Queer Dads Grew Their Families!

This may be a year *most* of us would love to forget — but for these 26 gay, bi and queer dad families, 2020 will be a year they'll never forget. We were thrilled to bring you the news this year after each of these dads expanded their families through births and adoptions. If you need a good reason to keep 2020 Check out all of the happy moments below.

January 2020 

Dad Dwight Welcomes the Birth of His Daughter Aria!

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New York City resident Dwight became a first-time dad on January 20 this year when he welcomed his daughter, Aria, through surrogacy!

"I always knew I wanted to be a dad from as far as I could remember, and although I'm not in a relationship I knew I was ready," said the new dad. "I worked with an amazing fertility clinic in California and was matched with an awesome surrogate. My relationship with my surrogate grew throughout the process and I now consider her a part of my family."

"The most surprising thing about fatherhood so far has been how quickly my daughter is growing. Each week is a surprise as she develops new and interesting skills. She's already taught me so much including patience and unconditional love."

Congrats to this family of two!

February 2020

Dads Thomas and Jamie for welcome their daughter Echo!


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Jamie and Thomas met in London during the summer of 2013. And by September 2014, they were married! Thomas agreed to leave England and move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to have Jamie's aunt move in with the husbands, thus beginning the foundation fo their multigenerational household. "It's not always easy," said Jamie, "but it's so rewarding."

After five years together, Aunt Shelia offered to help them start their surrogacy journey. 18 months later, in February 2020, they welcomed their beautiful daughter Echo. She's the youngest in the family, joining her dads, her great aunt, and three havanese pups - Buffy, Cordelia and Giles.

"The first time we held Echo we truly felt as though our hearts now existed outside of our bodies," said Jamie. "She was perfect and the most incredible addition to our multigenerational modern family. We are so excited to watch her grow and discover world around her." Check out this profile we did on this inspiring family here. 

Dads Kyle and Justin finalize the adoption of their son Elliot!


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Husbands Kyle and Justin live in the 'burbs just outside Los Angeles, California, and they recently finalized the adoption of their son, Elliot, on February 10! "Our finalization day was incredibly special, because unbeknownst to the judge it was one year to the day of us first holding our son!" The family's friends, relations, and Elliot's biological mother and grandmother were in attendance and, as Kyle shared, "there wasn't a dry eye in the house."

The dads shared with each other on their very first date that fatherhood would be apart of their future, but neither could've comprehended how profound the experience would be. "We began the adoption process shortly after our wedding, knowing that it could take a few years," said Kyle. "Since I'm older, my goal was 'a newborn before 40.' Fate of course had other plans, and we matched within 3 months to a mother who had already given birth. We did everything backwards after getting him: baby showers AFTER the baby, setting up a nursery AFTER the baby was already home, and figuring out what we really needed and not what baby blogs told us we needed."

The dads can't believe how much Elliot's personality is exploding and evolving every day. "Showing him the world makes us appreciate everything more than we ever have. It really is about the simple things in life."

March 2020

Dads Andreas and Rasmus welcome the birth of their son Matteo!


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Dads Andreas and Rasmus recently welcomed their son Matteo on March 8, 2020. "We have a daughter, Marit who was born in May 2018 (you can read about their flight home here with Niall Horann) and Matteo is our second child born through surrogacy. "We have always known that we wanted two kids."

"Holding Matteo was surreal," shared Andreas. "The birth went so fast, and the pregnancy in general went so fast this time. The days just fly on when you have a toddler that keeps you occupied."

The Danish dads hope to fly home soon and collect their eldest who is currently at home with her grandparents. The family of four cannot wait to be reunited and to introduce their newest addition to the extended family.

Jordan and Christopher welcome the birth of son, Noah!

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Jordan Schneyer and Christopher recently became dads through surrogacy! "Becoming a dad during a stay-at-home order is definitely interesting," the dads told us. "Beyond the normal hospital fight of who has legal rights in the delivery room and nursery, we were under strict hospital policies on visitors." Thankfully, the couple were able to get an exception made that allowed for both of us to be in the delivery room.

Follow this family here: @jschneyer

April 2020

Erik and Douglas welcome the birth of their son, Shane!

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Erik and Dougalas recently welcomed their third child to their family through adoption! Erik's husband is a physician, so the prospect of expecting a new baby, while continuing to raise two children, all amid a global pandemic was jarring, the dads said. "Just as I started to feel hopeless, our phone rang," Erik told us. "My mouth dropped to the floor. Our birth mother was in labor!" Read more about the couple's adoption journey in Erik's recent essay, "A Gay Dad's Adoption Journey Amid a Global Crisis."A Gay Dad's Adoption Journey Amid a Global Crisis."

Follow the family at @nolapapa.

Tyler and Michael finalize the adoption of their son Luke!


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Erie, Pennsylvania, dads Tyler and Michael decided to become foster parents to help local children and with the hope that one day they'd become forever dads. That day came true in April 2020! 

"Finalizing our son's adoption was the most amazing thing we've ever done!"

The new forever family celebrated with 25 close friends and family at the court house and then had a joyful dinner later that night. Huge congrats to the forever family of three!

Alexei and Gordon welcome the birth of their son, Ian!

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Houston couple Alexei and Gordon were thrilled to welcome their son on April 26th. And to make it even more special, Ian's dad Gordon was the attending doctor who delivered his own son!

“There are no words that can describe how happy we are, we feel so complete. Dreams do come true.”

Congratulations to this new family of three!

Instagram: @alexeiquintal

Danie and Antony finalize the parental order of their son!


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British husbands Danie and Antony are one of those love stories. "From the moment we clapped eyes on each other, we both just knew," said Danie. "Whether it was instinctual or serendipity, you call it whatever you want, but for us it was love at first sight." The men had always known from a young age that they would be fathers one day, and as soon as they were engaged they began their preparation for fatherhood.

The chose to pursue surrogacy and hit a few stumbling blocks within the healthcare system. "It honestly felt like every day we battled just to be recognized as a potential parent to this new life that was growing." But when they finally welcomed their son into the world, their lives changed forever. "It was the most emotional day of our lives; no words can ever do it justice. As the two of us stood there, our son was handed to Antony to do the first skin-to-skin contact and it was bliss. Finally having him in his arms, holding him so close. He was so tiny and precious, this bundle of joy that our imaginations tried to see what he would look and sound like as he grew."

Six weeks after the birth, as is required for UK surrogacy journeys, the dads applied for their parental order. It's a complicated process but the dads soon learned they had nothing to fear. Before they knew it, they were appearing before a magistrate and they were officially their son's dads.

"We are now a family of three, yet wonder if we as a family are complete yet. Whether we are or not, one thing we do know is that we are definitely 100% content."

 

Josh and Adam finalize their adoption!

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Josh Klocke and Adam recently became dads through adoption! "We chose newborn adoption because we have always wanted to grow our family and adoption gave us the best opportunity," the dads told us. Fatherhood, they said, has been an "amazing journey" so far. "While it has been tiring, every day brings a new adventure," they said. "The feeling of holding our daughter for the first time was indescribable."

Follow this family here: @jklocke05

Heath and Carlos welcome the birth of their son!

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Heath Tucker and Carlos Avilas recently became dads through surrogacy. "We flew out to Los Angeles about three weeks before our due date thinking that would be plenty of time,: they told us. As soon as the couple landed at LAX airport, they said, they turned their phones, and messages from their surrogate and her husband started flowing in, one after the other. "We literally raced straight from the airport to the hospital and made it just in time to be a part of the entire birth."

Follow this family: @askyourotherdad

May 2020

Andy and Jason welcome the birth of daughter, Reese!

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"We both always knew we wanted kids and naturally gravitated towards surrogacy." 

Andy and Jason started their journey to fatherhood two years ago. "We started reaching out to other gay dads - many we found through Gays With Kids - for advice on the process. Shortly after that, we signed with an agency and started building out our team: doctors, lawyers, and of course, our amazing surrogate and an anonymous egg donor." The dads created embryos with both of their sperm and chose not to know whose fertilized egg was implanted.

Their daughter Reese was born in May, and the dads were instantly in love. 

"Holding Reese for the first time was the absolute best!," said Andy. "Due to Covid, we didn’t even know if we’d be allowed in the hospital or the delivery room. The hospital was accommodating and set us up with our own room to wait for our daughter to be born, but told us we may not be allowed in the delivery room. Once our surrogate started pushing, they let both of us into the room and we got to be there for the birth. We did immediate skin-to-skin, and just sat there holding her for about an hour."

The San Francisco dads are completely smitten and love doting on their daughter!

Instagram: @abschu

Alex and Ricardo welcome the birth of their son, Matteo!

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"We knew early into dating that we wanted kids some day. After seven years of dating, we tied the knot and after our first year of marriage we decided to get serious about starting the adoption process."

Alex and Ricardo always knew they wanted to adopt but, at least initially, were so nervous about the whole thing. They worked directly through an attorney's office in South Florida that specialized in adoptions. "We had an initial match with a mother who then changed her mind and that completely devastated us"

Thankfully, shortly after that heartache, they got the call for their son Mateo who was born May 9th. "Covid was an unexpected turn of events that lead to even more unusual hiccups along the road. But when he finally arrived and we picked him up from the hospital, literally on the curb-side of the employee exit of the hospital, we knew it was all worth it."

"Having to quarantine has selfishly allowed us to have Mateo at home full time and it’s been an amazing journey so far. He’s made us the luckiest and happiest daddy and papa!"

Instagram: @alex_salinas85 and @ricardo_pena80

June 2020

Austin and Nathan welcome the birth of their son, Grady!

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"Our path to fatherhood was truly an emotional roller coaster," said Austin. "Two years ago we were matched with a wonderful birth mother in Alabama and unfortunately the baby was born prematurely with trisomy-13 and passed away after only 20 minutes."

Following the loss of their little one, the dads took some time off. They restarted their journey a year later and within four months they were matched! "He was born on our anniversary June 16th and we could not be any happier and proud of him!"

"Holding him for the first time was surreal," shared the Georgia husbands. "We were in complete and total awe for the whole two days we were in the hospital with him." 

Instagram: @awest770

Tyler and Dom welcome the birth of their son, Beau!

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San Francisco dads became dads via surrogacy in Canada with three egg donors, three surrogates, and it took three and a half years! But welcoming wee Beau made it all worth it.

Beau was born June 13, 2020.

The dads describe holding him for the first time as pure magic! "Beau was very alert, and staring right back at me with those big, sweet eyes." 

Congratulations to this new family of three!

Instagram: @tylercassacia

Sergey and Vlad welcome the birth of their son, Luke!

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For New Yorkers, Sergey and Vlad, every child is a miracle, and they were thrilled to welcome their very own miracle on June 21 this year. "May his life be full of amazing adventures and biggest happiness."
 
Despite the usual difficulties with a baby - lack of sleep and overthinking - every struggle has been a thousand times worth it for the new dads. "We honestly can't believe how fast time is going and that he is now two months old."
 
Luke joins his dads' other two children — their beautiful pups! Congrats to this new family of five!
 
Instagram: @sergeyandvlad
 

Justin and Chris welcome the birth of their son, Elijah!

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Justin and Chris from St Louis, Missouri, have been together almost eight years and married for almost four of them. "From the very beginning of our relationship we were both very vocal about our dreams of raising a child/children." About two years after they got married, the husbands started looking into surrogacy.

At first it seemed completely unobtainable due to the amount of money involved. "We knew that raising a child was something we had to do, so we just kept trucking forward and with the help of our amazing family we made it all work out. One of our sisters donated eggs, and one of our cousin’s carries Elijah. It was a true family affair, and quite an example of a modern family."

On June 10th, Elijah came into the world! "Holding Elijah for the first time was the best day of our lives. We were in the delivery room and got to witness every part of his entrance into the world. It was such a surreal experience, and one full of love and gratitude. We will never forget it!"

The couple have four more embryos and are really excited to continue their family journey and give Elijah brothers and sisters - "we dream of having a big family!"

Instagram: @twodapperdads

Aaron finalizes the adoption of his son, Uriel!

After visiting Brazil for a photography project in 2005, Aaron knew he wanted to adopt a child in Brazil. He left the country knowing that some day he would become a dad. In 2011 he returned, and started the official process in 2014. In his Instagram post above, Canadian-born Aaron shared his timeline.

"You were born
27.11.2015
We first met
22.11.2016
You came home
07.12.2016
You were adopted
12.06.2020"

"Through it all, you have always been family," shared Aaron. The father son journey took 5 years, 10 months, and 18 days from the start to end. "It has been a journey of patience, persistence, gratitude and LOVE in building our FOREVER FAMILY."

Instagram: @papai_cavalo_marinho

Austin and Stefan welcome the birth of their daughter, Maya!

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Calgary couple Austin and Stefan welcome daughter Maya via surrogacy on June 5 this year. She was a little ray of sunshine during a difficult and scary time.

You can watch the dads talk about their surrogacy journey here

"Holding Maya for the first time was such an amazing moment. It felt like she was right where she belonged and we can’t imagine our family without her."

Congrats to this Canadian family!

Instagram: @austnplz

July 2020

Dan and Steve welcome the birth of their daughter!

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New Yorkers Dan and Steve met in college and have been together for 13 years, and married for 6. "From the beginning we’ve talked about starting a family one day, and we spent a few years looking into our options." The couple officially started their surrogacy journey early 2019, and were matched with an amazing surrogate. "It felt like a long wait, but none of that mattered once we held [our daughter] in our arms for the first time."

On July 20, Dan and Steve became fathers! "Right after she was born we did skin-to-skin for an hour and it was so peaceful and magical, and it felt like we were meant to be her dads."

And since she's been born, she's had her dads wrapped around her little finger. "Every moment in the last week—when she looks up at me, when she grasps my hand, when she yawns—makes me forget about the middle-of-the-night feedings!"

Instagram: @dfreeman711

Daniel and Dan welcome the birth of their daughter, Amaya!

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Dan and Daniel always knew they wanted to be dads but weren't sure if it would ever be a reality. The Melbourne couple were married in 2019 after being together for four years.

After years of research they decided to pursue international surrogacy. "It was scary, a big leap forward and a costly process right in the heart of the COVID pandemic. But we were lucky enough to be blessed with our beautiful daughter, Amaya, who was born on 28th July 2020 and we still look at her every day and can’t believe she’s ours!"

From the first moment holding Amaya, the dads experienced feelings they'd never felt before. "So many emotions prior and once holding her, we couldn’t help but to burst into tears of happiness." 

The dads are still in the early stags of parenthood but they're sure life will kick off upon their return to Australia. The husbands both have very busy work lives, but they're excited to share their quality time with their new bundle of joy. 

Instagram: @thedailydan_

Charles and Kyle welcome the birth of their daughter, Ida!

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"Like for most people, 2020 has been a wild ride," shared Kyle. Dads Charles, Kyle, and their 2-year-old twins, were living in China, their home of 10 years, when the pandemic hit. They were on course to relocate to Italy so they sped up the process and arrived at the end of January. There, they entered lockdown pretty quickly.

Thankfully, when Ida was born July 18 this year, the dads were able to be by her side. She was carried by the same incredible surrogate that carried their two oldest. 

"Despite everything we went through to get to hold our daughter, we know we're the lucky ones - we are all healthy, safe, and appreciative of the fight that it took to get here with marriage equality, the law in both our countries, and surrogacy a possibility in my home state." 

Luckily Charles is French and Kyle is American, so despite border closures, we were able to travel back and forth - we've always traveled with birth certificates and marriage licenses, but this is the first time they were actually checked by authorities in France and the US, multiple times.

Despite everything we went through to get to hold our daughter, we know we're the lucky ones - we are all healthy, safe, and appreciative of the fight that it took to get

We can happily report that this new family of five are now safe and currently living in Montepulciano, Italy (Tuscany).

Instagram: @longhai @charlesshanghai

Daniel and Dennis welcome the birth of their twin boys, Dean and Devin!

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Miami husbands Daniel and Dennis discussed becoming parents on their first date five and half years ago. "Marriage and children were something we both had always dreamed of and wanted to become a reality."

They began their journey immediately after they were married, and decided that surrogacy was their preferred path. It was a two and a half year process that was emotional and exciting at times, but also very difficult. "The 'what ifs' and 'worst case scenarios' constantly flooded our thoughts, but we knew the reward was far greater than any doubts that ever crossed our minds."

On July 6th this year, the dads welcomed their twin boys - "officially the best day of our lives." 

Daniel and Dennis were both present for the birth, and each got to cut the umbilical cord for one baby.  "Before we knew it, we were parents and life had forever changed for the better."

Instagram: @daniel.marzoa and @dmarzoa

August 2020

Austin and Brian finalize the adoptions of Jaxon and Ellie!

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Nebraska locals Austin and Brian always wanted to be dads. They had been fostering Jaxon and Ellie since May 2018 - they are from Brian's great niece and nephew, and they'd been in and out of ten foster homes; the couple didn't want to adopt anyone else. 

"It was a very in-depth process and an emotional rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that often times stood still as if it hit a brick wall," shared Brian. "We were the first same-sex parents to adopt in our area."

On August 3, they became a forever family.

Brian and Austin recall their experience from the day Jaxon and Ellie's adoption was finalized. "Unless a person has gone through this, no one will ever realize the process in its entirety and no one will truly experience how it feels when you get to fill out and sign those 'orangish' pieces of paper... all that weight and stress that has been pressing against your chest starts subsiding."

"For some it doesn’t only take a village to raise a child(ren) it takes a village to HAVE a child(ren)."

Instagram: @life_of_two_dads

Diego welcomes the birth of his daughter, Lily!

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"I always knew I wanted to be a dad and initially thought it was impossible until I learnt from Gays With Kids about surrogacy."

Diego began his research and became super excited when he realized achieving his dream of fatherhood was attainable — and he didn't have to take that journey alone. "I was super happy on all the support I got from friends and family (surrogacy is not very common in Latin America)."

Mexican-born Diego welcomed both his children through surrogacy in the United States; Xavier in 2017, and Lily this year in August. 

"Holding my babies was the most perfect moment I could think about! I couldn’t stop crying because of the emotion. With my second baby, despite having already my first baby, felt like a brand new experience. I could only look into their eyes and kept telling them how much I love them and what a wonderful family we will be."

Instagram: @diegonzo

Will and Chris welcome the birth of their son, Finley!

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Chris and Will of Austin, Texas, had always talked about adopting since they began dating. The two met in high school (in show choir) and started dating two years later. Twenty years later, they're dads!

They began the adoption process in December 2018, and after three birth moms who either had a miscarriage or decided to keep their baby, the husbands got a call on August 31. "It was a birth mother of a 3-month-old wanting to talk with us immediately," shared Chris. They jumped on a call and were told that we needed to be in Iowa by September 2, which was in just two days time. "By Friday September 4th we had signed paperwork and he was officially ours! My birthday was on the 7th so the a child was the ultimate gift I could have ever ask for, we are over the moon about our happy and smiley baby Finley Kai."

For Will and Chris, they felt an immediate connection to Finley. "You could see the love in his eyes for us which made out hearts melt." The dads can't wait to travel and show their son how much adventure the world has to offer.

Instagram: @thewrightwill and @italiapino07

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