Gay Dad Life

"Would You be Open to an LGBT Child?"

This is the 14th article in Jason P’s series about Foster-Adopt. To read the first in the series, click here.


Wrestling With a Question. Wrestling With the Answer, too.

Welcome to the final interview, the last stop (sort of) before a child walks through your door (you still need CPR certification, a home safety inspection and a live scan background check) .It also happens to be the interview we were dreading. Like seriously, seriously dreading.

You see, the final interview is when shit gets real - there’s really no better way to put that. All of your thoughts, wishes, hopes, dreams, fears and desires must be on the table and ready to serve; your truth must be spoken, written and signed in blood - or signed, sealed, delivered; whichever you prefer.

“Would you be open to parenting a child who identifies as LGBT?” our social worker asked as she curiously looked up from behind her laptop.

Eric and I already had this question on our radar and had given the possibility a lot of thought before finally settling on an answer – an answer that still haunts me to this day.

“Not now,” I replied, immediately rattling off excuses to avoid the embarrassment that was already overwhelming me. “I mean, we’re looking at 6 to 9-year-olds - is this even something we might have to deal with?”

“Possibly,” she replied, clearly intrigued to learn how we, a gay couple, had arrived at such an answer.

The truth is, I don’t think we will ever get over the fact that we said “no” rather than simply saying "yes" and letting the chips fall where they may. I recalled the tragic story of little Larry King, a child of the system, and the extreme pain, hurt and ridicule he must have felt before he was eventually shot to death at point-blank range in his 8th grade classroom simply because he liked to dress up in women’s clothes and flirt with the boys. I could have been Larry King. We all could have been. And yet here we were removing children just like him off of our potential match-list before even getting started.

Years after his shocking murder, I still struggle to understand how an entire community turned their back on little Larry after his murder and somehow managed to blame him, and yet we were doing the exact same thing to someone quite possibly just like him. Why wouldn’t we want to parent a free-spirit - a child of courage who realized long before we ever did that he was different than everyone else and managed to accept it? If only we could have been that free.

In the search to understand ourselves and our answer, we came to terms with the fact that we both came from backgrounds where we tried our best to assimilate to “straight” culture, even when it was obvious to others that we were anything but. Looking back, our denial of self, based solely on fear, is a sad reality that has left us both extremely self-conscious and painfully self-aware. As first-time parents with so many other challenges ahead, we felt that adding one more complex element to our family before we even got started could prove overwhelming. We felt that parenting was something we had to get right - even if making this decision was wrong.

So what will we do if on day one our son comes home and tells us he’s gay? We’ll support him, of course! We'll support him and love him and celebrate him just as we will if he isn’t. We'll fight for him and never turn our back on him. And while time has passed since making that decision, the answer we gave that day hasn’t gotten any easier to digest. It wasn’t that we didn't want a gay child, rather we wanted to be able to offer support, love, opinions, suggestions and help if our child is to navigate the process of coming out. We wanted to be able to parent that realization. This was only about us wanting to protect our child from the cruel world, which was something little Larry King never had.

To read Jason P’s next post in the series, click here.

Show Comments ()
Foster/Foster-Adopt

Your Foster Adopt Questions Answered by a Foster Adopt Dad

We asked our Instagram community to send us their questions about being a foster dad — and an experienced foster dad responded.

Dad Joseph Bostick (read his story here) recently shared his experience as a foster and adoptive dad with our Instagram community via a question and answer session - did you feel nervous at the beginning? How did you start the process? Did you always know that you wanted to foster older kids?

Read Joseph's responses below.

Keep reading... Show less
Expert Advice

Together, We Can Reinvent the Foster Care System

Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network calls on ALL adoption agencies to be LGBTQ-inclusive

There are nearly 500,000 children in the foster care system. We think it is time to dig deep into the roots of an imperfect system. We think it is time to create lasting change for the children in our communities who need it the most. We think gay dads are the perfect partner in this work!

Here is how we think the foster care system could be reinvented:

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

We Gained a Son Through Foster Care — He Didn't Lose his Family

Foster-adopt expert Trey Rabun writes a moving essay about his own experiences as a parent in the foster care system.

My husband, Phil, and I talked about having children since out first date over 11 years ago. Like many other gay dads, we waited to start the journey to become parents until we felt secure with our careers, finances, and home life. This meant we didn't start the partnering journey until 2016 when we were eight years into our relationship.

When we first met, I was completing my graduate studies in social work and subsequently started a career working in foster care and adoption. This made our decision to pursue foster care-adoption as our path to parenthood a fairly easy one. In fact, I can't recall us discussing other avenues to parenthood, but I'm sure we briefly discussed them before solidifying our decision to become foster parents.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



Change the World

"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse