It all started last summer. We’d had a perfect family holiday in Hunstanton, Norfolk: a beach from my childhood, a trip down memory lane and a great catch-up with my big sister Lorraine. Such a great holiday! Little did we know it would be a prelude to our son Louis getting ill.

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The adoption leave pay I was getting from the police came to an end. We were getting broke!

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When Seattle husbands Rich and Brian found out they were going to be dads, their initial reaction was panic. "It was so early in the adoption process, we weren't really ready for anything," remembered Brian. "We hadn't read any books, we didn't have a crib, we had nothing... we were going to be dads and the baby was going to be here in a week!"

"I didn't really think about being a parent," added Rich, "and more what do we needed to do logistically, and how we were going to make it all work."

The dads adopted Emerson from birth and raising a girl has taught the dads a lot; they are her biggest advocates. The dads are making sure that they're "raising a girl who feels empowered and able to speak up, play sports, just as anyone else does."

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As a gay man, I'm well-versed in pride. We all talk about being proud. Proud to be gay, proud to be out, proud to be happy. I have always been proud, and so I'm used to it.

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Okay, so it wasn't that big, or even that gay – though my partner Ivan would argue I added a touch of gay by being there. It wasn't, in fact, even a wedding, given that back in the day we 'gays' couldn't actually get married. It was technically our civil partnership. But to us, well, it was our wedding!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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