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Double Dads: Gay dads in NYC mark Father’s Day

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From left, Don Gaile, Justin and Stephen Lenz. Photo Credit: From left, Don Gaile, Justin and Stephen Lenz.
From left, Don Gaile, Justin and Stephen Lenz. Photo Credit: From left, Don Gaile, Justin and Stephen Lenz.


Every day is Father’s Day for gay men who have fought for the right to raise children.

About 8,100 of the same-sex couples in New York City raising children are gay men, according to the Williams Institute, a UCLA Law School think tank that specializes in LGBT issues.

NYC’s gay dads differ from those nationally, said Gary J. Gates, a distinguished scholar at Williams and expert on the LGBT community. In socially conservative areas, men come out later in life and are more likely to be raising kids created during prior relationships with women. In urban areas such as New York City, though, “social acceptance is likely associated with higher proportions of LGBT parents having adopted children or deciding to have children using assisted reproductive technologies,” Gates said.

Gabriel Blau and Dylan Stein and Elijah, 5, Washington Heights

“Gay men are really attractive as adoptive parents,” to some birth moms, observed Gabriel Blau, 33, who privately adopted Elijah, 5, with his husband, acupuncturist Dylan Stein, 33 after attending Elijah’s birth in Illinois to a woman they met via networking. That’s because some birth moms harbor the stereotype that all gay men are “wealthy, well educated, clean, neat and upstanding citizens. We’re not wealthy, but we are all those other things,” said Blau.

Blau is a deputy director at the Family Equality Council, an organization the supports the “Every Child Deserves a Family Act” — legislation eliminating laws and policies that permit the discrimination of potential foster and adoptive parents by marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation. Of the 400,000 kids in foster care in the U.S., ”more than 100,000 of them are eligible for adoption” – a number that would be lower higher?RL if discrimination were made illegal everywhere, said Blau.

The dads encourage all the myriad interests of their dinosaur-obsessed son, who is provisionally planning a triple career as a paleontologist, midwife and aquarium worker.

“We just want (Elijah) to be happy with himself, to find value in community and to be a part of the world around him,” said Blau.

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