Gay Dads – New Frontier?

Eric Cooper

Well, I guess that depends on how you define “new” – gay men have been having children with women since the beginning of time (that’s a figure of speech before someone flips out and goes all crazy in the comment section). As far as two men fostering and adopting children go, that’s not necessarily a new thing, but it is still not allowed in some states; Florida just recently ended their ban on gay adoptions within the past few weeks. Arkansas and Utah have laws on the books that, while not expressly aimed at gay people, restrict them from adopting, since both “ban anyone ‘co-habitating outside of a valid marriage’ from being foster parents or adopting children.” Since they do not allow gay people to get married, nor recognize out-of-state gay marriages, they are restricting homosexuals from adopting or fostering children. So one could argue that it is new in some places and not new in others.

Surrogacy on the other hand, is a growing trend among the gay male community. While in-vitro and insemination have been more easily accessible with the lesbian population, two men trying to have a child is a lot more difficult and the lack of uterus is a real deterrent (the person who invents the portable uterus is going to rule the world!). Even in the early 2000′s, gay men employing surrogacy as an option was still in its infancy. Today, it is a viable option and more gay men are choosing to go this route for legal, financial, or genetic reasons.

There are benefits and drawbacks, just like with any process and I’ll explore those topics with you in another post. I really just wanted this to be a trailer and a jumping off point for further discussion about being a gay dad, surrogacy, and the newness of it all in America. Life is an adventure for everyone, but it is even more of an adventure when you have to maneuver your way around legalities, homophobia, and being a near-pioneer in an aging world that has already established itself to a high degree. Sometimes, even commonplace activities need to be handled differently (play dates and schooling, for example).

If you have any questions, feel free to respond to this post (or any of my posts in the future) and I will get to them as soon as I can or possibly compile them to make a bi-weekly “readers bag” type of post.

Until next time, remember to strive to be the best parent you can, gay, straight, or other.