Men are often thought to have less interest in parenting than women, and gay men are generally assumed to prefer pleasure over responsibility. The toxic combination of these two stereotypical views has led to a lack of serious attention being paid to the experiences of gay fathers. But the truth is that more and more gay men are setting out to become parents and succeeding—and Gay Fatherhood aims to tell their stories.
Ellen Lewin takes as her focus people who undertake the difficult process of becoming fathers as gay men, rather than having become fathers while married to women. These men face unique challenges in their quest for fatherhood, negotiating specific bureaucratic and financial conditions as they pursue adoption or surrogacy and juggling questions about their future child’s race, age, sex, and health. Gay Fatherhood chronicles the lives of these men, exploring how they cope with political attacks from both the "family values" right and the "radical queer" left—while also shedding light on the evolving meanings of family in twenty-first-century America.