Gay Dad Life

Young Scottish Dads Celebrate 10th Anniversary on Halloween

Jonny was 19 and Pete 20 when the two met online in 2006. They went on their first date on Halloween that same year, exactly ten years ago today! They moved in together just seven months later.


Jonny grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and Pete in a smaller community less than an hour away, where they now live with their son Kaiden, almost 4 years old. They enjoy the benefits of life in a community where they know many locals.

Pete (left) and Jonny's first official outing as a couple at Pete's best friend's wedding, 2006

When they first met, Jonny was still in police college and graduated several months later. Pete followed in his footsteps a couple of years later, eventually becoming a police officer as well.

While Jonny recently transitioned to a career in financial services, the two divulged that through their police work they were each exposed to children living in horrendous situations. These kids were in dire need of families that could provide safe, stable and loving homes.

So while both men say that they always knew fatherhood was in their futures, their experience as police officers led them to want to create their family through adoption. Unfortunately, the law prevented them from fostering or adoption during their early years as a couple, so they only discussed it wistfully.

Pete and Jonny meeting Kaiden for the first time, just 7 days before he moved in with his dads in 2014

Then, in 2009, the laws changed and adoption became available to same-sex couples in Scotland. For the first time, the guys were able to seriously consider fatherhood through adoption, helping to make a difference in the life of a child.

But first they wanted to buy a house, and so it wasn't until 2013 that they started the adoption process. Then, in 2014, they met 15-month-old Kaiden, who moved in with his new dads in October, making the month even more special to the dads.

While on family vacation in Nova Scotia of June 2016, the guys decided to take advantage of Canada's marriage laws and got married. Kaiden was their best man!

Before adopting Kaiden, at her request, the dads-to-be met with Kaiden's birth mom. While she has no role in their son's life, the dads plan to provide Kaiden with age-appropriate information about her and her life. For now, for example, Kaiden understands that he has a tummy mummy.

Interestingly, Jonny and Pete formed a bond with Kaiden's foster family, who took care of him for close to a year before the dads met him. As Jonny describes it, Kaiden's foster parents treated him like one of their own. The dads especially value the relationship as the foster family can help fill in some of the gaps about what Kaiden's life was like during his first year.

Jonny and Kaiden enjoying a trip to northern Scotland, 2016

Today, Kaiden and his dads are looking forward to growing their family, again through adoption. Kaiden is especially excited with the prospect of having a little sister. The dads promise to keep in touch. When Kaiden has a sibling they'll be sure to let Gays With Kids know!

Before finishing up our interview, we asked the dads what life was like for a gay dad family living outside of a major metropolitan area in Scotland.

The dads said there's absolutely been no issue, no problems of homophobia. Like many gay dads, they've received their fare share of questions about where Kaiden's mommy is, but they don't think it's ever out of malice.

In fact, Jonny was quick to point out that Scotland has an extremely good reputation in its treatment of LGBT citizens as the following articles from The Guardian and from BBC News show.

Pete and Kaiden take a beach selfie, 2016

Gays With Kids: Is there anything else you want to share with other gay men living in Scotland interested in fatherhood? Especially those who are hesitant because they don't know other gay dads personally or haven't seen any in Scotland?

Jonny: Each of Scotland's 32 councils (local government agencies) has an adoption service. These councils can very likely introduce you to gay dads who have already gone through the adoption process in your local community. If you have dreams and aspirations to have a family, then just go do it!

Pete: I agree, just do it. It was the best decision we made! There's still not a lot of visibility from same-sex parents so we're trying to be visible with it.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Gay Dad Life

"Worth Every Blood, Sweat, and Tear": Congrats to Gay Dads on Recent Births and Adoptions!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

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News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

Despite this mundanity, her family remained something to marvel at for much of her youth. When the family moved into a new neighborhood in 2006, it made the local newspaper, with a headline titled, "Gay Father Tests Tolerance in the Park Cities."

She and her siblings have spent much of their lives, she explained further, having to respond to the question: what's it like having two gay dads? For Langbert, there is only one correct response, which is: Amazing! "Any other response, even if simply accounting for a family's nuanced experience, might as well be an outright admission of failure on behalf of the entire LGBTQ community," she wrote.

Children of the 'Gayby Generation,' are also put in the position of having to come out on behalf of their parents, and "often with mixed results," she wrote. She gave the following anecdote as an example:

"My father was asked to step down from his leadership position in my brother's Boy Scout troop on account of his sexuality. Even though my siblings and I were only fourth graders at the time, we understood that our family was under strict scrutiny, and that even the slightest misstep could beget severe consequences for how competent our fathers were perceived as being. In the face of this pressure, the first generation of 'gaybies' recognized the importance of presenting their families as perfect; doing otherwise would only present ammunition to those already dubious about the rights of LGBTQ parents to raise children."

The entire article, which includes the perspectives of multiple now-grown kids that are part of the "Gayby generation," is well worth a read, which you can access here.


Politics

Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."

Politics

Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Image: NWSC Clients

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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