Gay Dad Life

Using the Words “Gay,” “Breastfeeding" and "Catholic" in One Sentence

I recently saw a friend’s Facebook post asking for models for a photo-shoot; a paid gig for babies looking for that extra spending cash. Of course, we’re always looking to share our wonderful Harper’s beauty with any and all, so I replied, and a few days later we had our first paid modeling gig. We later found out the ad would be for the breastfeeding center at a local hospital. The very hospital, in fact, where our Harper was born.


We took a lot of photographs that day. I know, as I’m sure every parent knows, that my baby is photogenic, and I knew whichever image they chose, it would be amazing. Surprisingly, I was shocked to see the final image. Not because my Harper doesn’t look amazing, but because it also included my partner and me. A gay couple on a breastfeeding wall?! And the best part…? My toddler was born at a Catholic hospital. My partner and I, with our daughter, will be featured on the wall of the breastfeeding center of a local Catholic hospital.

What the breastfeeding wall will look like

I’m a cynical man by nature. I expect the expected. But this surprised me. Will there be a backlash, ramifications for using this image? Again, I expect there to be. But my heart hopes not. After all, my daughter was born at this hospital and the doctors and nurses couldn’t have been kinder to us. Harper was treated like a queen.

I know I shouldn’t have preconceived notions about religion and my relationship, my child. My partner was raised Catholic, and very dedicated to his church. When Harper arrived, he made the tough decision to leave that church and join another because of the stigma our daughter may face simply because of our relationship. It may seem small, but to our family this is huge. Not that our family needs validation, but it puts us on a level playing field in an arena we never thought to be considered equal.

It takes a lot to surprise me these days. After all, I’ve cleaned up milk puke that bore a strong resemblance to cottage cheese. But this wins the day. It wins the month even. Like Harpers first toddle, it’s the baby steps that make the greatest impact.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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Then Covid.

Ten weeks ago, I — along with the rest of the world — was ordered to shelter-in-place... to stop thinking about what's next, and instead, focus on the here and the now. In many ways, the shut down made me shut off everything I thought I knew about being content and living a productive life. And so, for the first time in my 41 years, I have literally been forced to stop and smell the roses. The question is, would I like the way they smell?

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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

Is adopting a child whose race and culture is different from your own something that us queer dads need to talk about? Share our experiences? Learn from others? We've been hearing from our community, and the answer has been a resounding, "yes."

With over one-fifth (21.4%) of same-sex couples raising adopted children in the United States today (compared to 3% of different-sex couples), it's highly likely, at the very least, that those families are transcultural. According to April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Inc., all adoptive families are transcultural. "All, in my opinion, adoptions are transcultural because there are no two families' culture that is exactly the same, even if you went as far as to get very specific about the family of origin and the family of experience and almost make it cookie-cutter … no two families operate the same."

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SURROGACY

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Surrogacy Webinar Series.

Come discuss: surrogates, egg Donation, IVF, and embryo creation with leading surrogacy and fertility experts.

Please register for just one of the following 3 surrogacy webinars

Monday, May 4, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET

  • Dr. Guy Ringler, California Fertility Partners
  • Victoria Ferrara, Worldwide Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Wednesday, May 6, 2020
4:00-5:00pm PT / 7:00-8:00pm ET
  • Dr. Jerald S. Goldstein, Fertility Specialists of Texas
  • Sam Hyde, Circle Surrogacy
Register here (pre-registration required)
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Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-1:00pm PT / 3:00-4:00pm ET
  • Dr. Mark Leondires, Reproductive Medical Associates of CT
  • Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy

Register here (pre-registration required)

ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE

Thinking About Becoming A Dad? Explore Your Options in our Adoption Webinar Series.

Come discuss: matching, placements, home studies and finalizations with leading experts in adoption and foster care.

Please register for just one of the following 2 adoption / foster webinars
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Friday, May 15, 2020
10:00-11:00am PT / 1:00-2:00pm ET

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Gay Dad Life

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