|Today, March 21, we celebrate the 9th anniversary of Gays With Kids. I remember the date |
well, as I had hoped to launch our website a day earlier: That would have allowed me to
celebrate my birthday and GWK’s anniversary on the same day! But the Internet gods had
other plans, and our site didn’t actually go live until March 21.
You may already know the story behind GWK. Back in the mid aughts, my Dutch husband
Ferd and I made the decision to start a family. Our roller coaster ride of a journey to
fatherhood included: A birth parent who decided to keep her baby, which caused us to abandon our chosen path to fatherhood (after investing 12 months and $20,000 in non-reimbursable adoption-related expenses) and to start anew with surrogacy, which was further complicated thanks to my HIV status.
Four days after signing contracts with a surrogacy agency and IVF clinic, we received an unexpected yet very welcome call from our adoption agency: a baby boy had been born the week prior and, if we wanted him, we’d need to take him home just two days later.
Three months later, Ferd received word that his legal immigration status in the US would expire in three months, so we moved to Canada where we found an amazing immigration attorney who got me a work visa (HIV status be damned!), and visas for Ferd and Levi.
Almost a year later, Ferd and I drove from Toronto to West Virginia, arriving just a few hours after our surrogate’s emergency c-section delivered our girls at 35 weeks and 1 day. Of course, before bringing our girls home to Canada with us, we had to navigate the myriad legal hurdles that I now understand as typical for international dads who choose a US-based surrogacy journey for their family-building.
|The idea behind Gays With Kids was born out of the hope that I could somehow use my |
experience to help others navigate their own journeys to fatherhood. And that, by extension,
the more stories we could share of others creating and raising their families, the more
people we’d help. So, for our first 8 years, GWK acted primarily as a media company,
publishing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of such stories. Of course, we have always done so in a positive and accurate light, which we hope helped to counter-balance some of the nastiness and lies perpetuated by those who wish us harm.
Then last year we had an epiphany. Telling these stories provided inspiration and some
anecdotal guidance for future dads…but that wasn’t enough. We could do more to support
gay and queer men as they attempt to navigate their own journeys to fatherhood. And that’s
why we created GWK Academy, to provide intended dads with a roadmap to follow along
through their entire journey. We are tremendously proud of GWK Academy, and we hope
GWK Academy will soon earn the reputation as the very first stop on any gay or queer man’s
journey to fatherhood.
For us the launch of GWK Academy is even more…it represents our very first service
offering, but it will not be our last. I can’t think of a better time to share our new strategic
vision than on the eve of our 9th anniversary… while we will continue to publish blog posts
on our site and share family stories on social media…our primary focus is to provide our
ever-growing community of gay and queer dads and dads-to-be with more invaluable and
unique service offerings that aren’t available elsewhere.
By the way, before finalizing any new services, we will seek community input as an
important part of our process. When we do, I sincerely hope that I can count on getting your thoughtful and invaluable feedback, as that’s the only way we can be sure you’re as excited as we are with these new service offerings.
Thanks for reading,
Brian Rosenberg, Founder
Gays With Kids