Since conducting original research in the late 1990's on gay parenting and, specifically, gay dads, much has changed in the U.S. - adoption laws, right to marriage, and reproductive technology. Participants in my focus groups all stated that their drive to be parents superseded the multiple roadblocks, and that there had been no path for them to follow. They called themselves "trailblazers", and they truly were. I have published articles on gay parenting, and my work has been cited in The Atlantic, and Gay Dads, a Celebration of Fatherhood.
However, what hasn't changed in the intervening years are the often complex issues of family-building. Despite the fact that gay and lesbian individuals now have more paths to follow, may have community supports that didn't exist in the past, and may well know other gay and lesbian parents who have had children within the context of their sexual identity, the process remains complex and replete with hurdles. Common questions to be addressed are whether to adopt or have a child through reproductive technology, affordability and legal concerns, egg donor and/or gestational surrogate selection, co-parenting arrangements, and decision-making around who will be the parent with the genetic connection and/or who will bear the child.
Each individual or couple comes up with their own answers and solutions, and no decision is right for all. I can help guide you through these issues, and arrive at a choice that suits you.
After one's child has arrived, I can assist with crafting your desired birth story, and when and how to explain the story of your family's creation to your child. My philosophy on this hinges on openness and honesty, and in giving the child the information that they can understand at each stage of development. Additionally, I will work with you on finding a comfortable level of public disclosure, whether in the community, place of worship, or schools. Despite the strong emphasis on being out and open, and displaying pride in one's family, I understand that each individual differs in their desired levels of privacy vs. self-disclosure, and that there is more than one stance to take. Not everyone wants to be a gay parenting spokesperson at all times, and partners may differ on their levels of comfort with this role. I have led men in discussions of these issues in workshops and discussion groups.