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June 5, 2023
When Brian Rosenberg and his husband, Ferd van Gameren, decided to start a family over 15 years ago, it was very difficult for them to find information about how gay men can become dads. While they knew they could adopt, they were also interested in surrogacy, which was a relatively new option for gay men at the time.
Fast forward to today. Brian and Ferd are the proud fathers of three children — a son by adoption, and twin daughters by surrogacy. But they also have birthed a fourth child — Gays With Kids, a website and online community that supports gay, bi, and trans men as they build and raise their families.
“When we started our journey to become fathers, there were no resources for us, no easy way for us to connect with other gay men going through the same experience,” says Brian, who recently participated in a panel on Gay and Trans Dads at BTC’s National Forum in May. “And then once we had children, I quickly realized that the world didn’t know how to make sense of our family. I wanted to meet other dads and families like ours.”
Gays With Kids (GWK) offers information about adoption, foster care, and surrogacy and IVF (in-vitro fertilization), and links to family-building partners, including adoption and foster care agencies, IVF clinics, and surrogacy and egg donation agencies. They also host webinars where gay fathers share their stories, organizes spring break trips for gay fathers and their families, and promotes businesses owned by gay and queer fathers. Over 350,000 people follow GWK on social media.
Last year, Brian and Ferd launched the GWK Academy app, which Brian considers a one-stop shop for becoming a gay father. The app offers guides on surrogacy and adoption/foster care, as well as coaching and mentoring with fathers who have been through the process and connections with vetted experts at agencies.
“For gay and queer men, it can be really complicated to become a dad. People don’t even know what questions to ask,” Brian explains. “We want to be their very first family-building partner, as the first thing we do is make sure every dad-to-be understands all his options to becoming a dad. We want to help men become the dads they dream of becoming.”