Gay Dad Family Stories

Top Gay Dad Family Stories of 2018!

This year, we brought you hundreds of stories of gay, bi and trans men on their paths to parenthood. Here's to hundreds more in 2019!

Over the year, we brought you stories of hundreds of gay men and their paths to parenthood. Some made you laugh, some made you cry, and ALL helped increase visibility for gay, bi and trans dads. Thank you for sharing your stories with us! And here's to hundreds more in 2019...


The Unexpected Adoption: These Gay Dads Just Learned Their Daughter Has a Brother on the Way

Dustin and Yaser met at their condominium pool 6 and a half years ago. Dustin was new to the building and they began chatting. Fast forward to 2015, the two married on November 14. They're also the proud dads to daughter Lucy whom they adopted in 2016. Not long after, they learned Lucy's biological mother was pregnant with her brother, due mid-February.

In Dustin's own words, read this family's story.

As Gay Parents, It's Important to "Find Your Village," Say These New Dads

In 2011, Sean Gannon, then a 22-year-old fitness instructor in New York City, was going through profiles on the dating website OkCupid, when a photo of an attractive man in a pirate costume caught his eye. Sean got in touch with the swashbuckler, and a few days later the two had their first date in New York's Washington Park.

When Sean and Spencer Parker, a 30-year-old director, got to know each other better, they realized they shared a dream: They both wanted to have kids. As their relationship grew stronger, they became more serious about fatherhood.

Read their story.

Why I Came Out as a Gay Dad at 40

In Matt's own words:

When I came out, I felt completely alone. Like I was the only person in the world -- a 40 year old, newly-single gay dad with twin toddlers and a teenage son -- going through the coming out process. Obviously I wasn't the first, or the last, but it certainly felt that way while I was in the thick of it.

Now that I'm on the other side of coming out, I want to share my experience. I don't pretend to have all of the answers. But, perhaps I can provide someone contemplating coming out later in life some comfort, if not courage. Some experience, if not guidance. Maybe those who have already come out will be able to relate to my story -- we are not alone in this.

Read Matt's story.

After Posting a "Boyfriend Application" to Myspace Twelve Years Ago, This Man Met The Future Father of His Daughter

"Children are full of love," beamed Ben. "We have experienced more happy interactions with our baby than we ever had without."

It's been a year since first-time dads Ben and Aaron Ptashinsky-Skinner adopted now 1-year-old Charlotte. And since then, they've been stopped numerous times by people who are full of praise for the family and want to hear their story. Charlotte is a gregarious toddler with a big smile and she's changed her dads' lives. "There is nothing like fatherhood; I'm living my best life because of my daughter."

Here's how a simple Google search of "gay adoption Orlando" made Aaron and Ben's world complete.

Read their story.

These Gay Dads Went Viral After 'One Direction' Star Niall Horan Tweeted This Photo

Earlier this year, two first-time gay dads wrote a courtesy note for their fellow airline passengers, informing them that this was their newborn's first flight and how she would "do her utmost to be on her best behavior to ensure that you have a peaceful flight." Little did they know that this note, its accompanying goodie bag and sweet photo would end up in the hands of fellow passenger and former One Direction star, Niall Horan. Horan tweeted a photo of the goodie bag and attached note, and the twittersphere exploded with heart-eyed smiley face emojis. The tweet pulled on the heartstrings of hundreds of thousands of people.

Here's the family story of two Danish gay dads whose trip home became a viral sensation.

Read their story.

When His Son Got a Tattoo, He Freaked Out. Then He Saw What it Was

A few weeks ago, Richard was at work when he received the following text message from his son, Jonathan, who had recently joined the navy:

"Guess what dad, I'm getting a tattoo."

"Don't you dare," came Richard's knee-jerk response.

But it was too late: Jonathan had already booked the appointment.

Read this story.

This Gay Couple, After Learning an Acquaintance Was Searching for Adoptive Parents for Her Baby, Became First-Time Dads Within Weeks

Tim and Clayton were preparing to become certified as foster parents when they learned, out of the blue, that an acquaintance was pregnant and planning to put her baby up for adoption. Two weeks later, they were dads.

Read their story.

These Gay Dads Via Surrogacy Have the Perfect Response When Asked, "When Did You Get Her"? in Reference to Their Daughter

Most of the time, gay dads PJ and Corey feel they are treated just like any other family. When they're asked questions like "when did you get her?" they simply respond, "she's ours."

Read their story.

The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

Nate Wormington had lived much of his life not being true to himself. He had a beautiful baby girl, was married to his best friend and soul mate, but there was still no doubt in his mind that he was gay. Still, he chose to stay in a heterosexual relationship lifestyle, and it was making him incredibly depressed.

"For some that may be a sustainable life, but denying a core value of myself began to take its toll on me, and I had to own up to my own truth to salvage my life and my relationships with the people I love." Despite the difficulties in doing so, he eventually, he came out. Today, he's co-parenting with his ex-wife and they're still best friends. This November, he's getting married to the man of his dreams. But most importantly, he's proud to be a positive example to his 7-year-old daughter.

Read this family's story.

A Gay Dad, Raised Southern Baptist, Finds Happiness in Self-Acceptance

"I knew I was attracted to men at an early age, probably around 9 years old," shared Hunter Bigham, dad of three. "The Sears catalogue men's underwear section was the way I knew that. I finally figured out I was gay much later in my 30s."

As a devout Southern Baptist, Hunter did things the "right way." He dated a girl at school (whom he would later marry); they graduated college, moved to a new city, waited 4 years then had 3 kids.

"As a very devout Southern Baptist, I thought I was following a faithful path," said Hunter. "All the while, I was struggling with an internal division and a compartmentalization that wasn't maintainable."

Read Hunter's story.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

'Fourth Time's a Charm' for This Foster Forever Family

It took four tries before Steven was united with his 'forever son' through foster care — and it was worth the wait.

On his path to becoming a dad, Steven Engle admits his biggest obstacle was himself at first. "In my mind, I had to be in a relationship or married to have a child," he said. Steven had wasted many years believing that simply as fact. "And yes, I realize how antiquated that is... I'm embarrassed to admit it." Then one day, he was out with a good friend who just said, "Why not do it on your own?" It was Steven's 'aha' moment. "Once I got past that, I was unstoppable."

Although Steven, who lives in Los Angeles, briefly considered adoption and surrogacy, he wanted to learn more about becoming a foster parent and adopting through the foster care system. Steven called up an old friend who had become a dad through a similar path to ask for advice and share his experience. His friend did so willingly and was happy to talk about adoption.

From there, Steven decided to attend an orientation at Extraordinary Families in Los Angeles. "I went in with a very open mind. I was very nervous and told myself that if something comes up and I realize it isn't a good fit, I would move on to another option, whatever that may be." After the orientation, Steven said that it felt so right that he started his training shortly thereafter. "I wanted to be certified ASAP. I knew that this was the road I was meant to be on."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Single Gay Dad and the City

When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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News

National's Pitcher Cites Wife's Two Moms as Reason for Declining White House Invite

"I think that's an important part of allyship," Doolittle said of his wife's two moms.

Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, declined an invitation to the White House after his team won the World Series this year. In an interview with the Washington Post, he listed his numerous reasons for staying home — and a main consideration, he revealed, was his wife's two moms.

"I want to show support for them. I think that's an important part of allyship, and I don't want to turn my back on them," Doolittle said during the interview.

Trump's treatment of a minority groups, generally, factored into his decision as well. "I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can't get past that stuff."

Doolitttle clarified that his decision had little to do with policy disagreements with the White House. "There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the 'shithole countries.'"

He concluded by saying he respected his teammates decision to attend the White house ceremony. "I want people to know that I put thought into this, and at the end of the day, I just can't go."

Read more of the Washington Post interview here.

News

New York Will Fight 'Repugnant' Trump Rule on Adoption, Says Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York promises legal action of the Trump administration moves ahead with plans to allow discrimination against LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents — but he may face a legal fight from (former) hometown. In a tweet, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the proposed move "isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values,— it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home." If the proposal moves forward, he continued. "we'll take legal action to stop it.

Governor Cuomo's office followed up the tweet with a lengthier statement posted to their website:

Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump's proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.

No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance.

Our message to the Trump administration is simple: there is no place for hate in New York or in our nation, and we will not allow this noxious proposal to stop LGBTQ New Yorkers from becoming parents or providing care to children in need.

Change the World

A Gay Fertility Doctor Opens Up About His Own Path to Parenthood

Parenthood is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, wrote gay fertility doctor Mark Leondires in a recent op-ed for The Advocate

Dr. Mark Leondires, founder of the fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, has helped thousands of LGBTQ people become parents over the years. But in a recent op-ed for The Advocate, he discussed his own path to parenthood as a gay man, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

"Similar to most gay men I struggled with the coming out process," Dr. Leondires wrote. "I strongly desired to be a parent. And as a fertility doctor I knew this was possible. What was enlightening was after we had our first child is that in the eyes of my community, I went from being a gay man or gay professional to being a parent just like most of my straight friends."

Dr. Leondires goes on to say his reasons for opening up about his parenting journey is to offer some perspective LGBTQ people who are considering parenthood. "Once you have a family you will have this common bond with the vast majority of our population and something they can relate to — having children," he wrote. "You are no longer someone living this "special" lifestyle, you are a parent on a shared journey."

Being a parent is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, he continued. "It is also the only job you can't be fired from."

Understanding this commonality helped Dr. Leondires in his coming out process, he said. "I had to be proud of my family because I want them to be proud of our family," he wrote. "It wasn't about me anymore. The reality is that 5-7% of patients identify as LGBTQ+, and there may be a greater likelihood that your child might be LGBTQ+ because you are. Therefore, you need to be proud of who you are and who your family is, establish and maintain this foundation unconditionally."

Read Dr. Leondires entire essay here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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