Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood

Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood

Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood

Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood

Synopsis

When gay couples become parents, they face a host of questions and issues that their straight counterparts may never have to consider. How important is it for each partner to have a biological tie to their child? How will they become parents: will they pursue surrogacy, or will they adopt? Will both partners legally be able to adopt their child? Will they have to hide their relationship to speed up the adoption process? Will one partner be the primary breadwinner? And how will their lives change, now that the presence of a child has made their relationship visible to the rest of the world?

In Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood, Abbie E. Goldberg examines the ways in which gay fathers approach and negotiate parenthood when they adopt. Drawing on empirical data from her in-depth interviews with 70 gay men, Goldberg analyzes how gay dads interact with competing ideals of fatherhood and masculinity, alternately pioneering and accommodating heteronormative "parenthood culture." The first study of gay men's transitions to fatherhood, this work will appeal to a wide range of readers, from those in the social sciences to social work to legal studies, as well as to gay-adoptive parent families themselves.

Excerpt

Carter, a 37-year-old teacher, and Patrick, a 41-year-old professor, lived in a midwestern suburb. They had been together for approximately 10 years at the time they began to consider parenthood. Before meeting Patrick, Carter had been unsure of whether he would be able to become a parent. He felt that he might have “abandoned that dream” when he came out. In contrast, Patrick had never considered not becoming a parent: “As a gay person there are so many things you can’t do and you just have to work around it. It is just one of those things. I knew that if I want[ed] to have a family, that is just what I am going to have to do.” Meeting Patrick and being exposed to other gay parents led Carter to rethink his initial hesitations about gay parenthood. After 10 years together, and a move into a larger house in a family-friendly neighborhood, the couple finally felt ready to take the plunge. They had a large, supportive network of family and friends and therefore felt well supported in their quest to become parents.

In deciding what route to take to parenthood, both men briefly considered surrogacy but then concluded, largely based on cost, that it did not make . . .

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