Same-sex parenting couples around the world have loving, healthy, inspiring, and inspired families. The smiling faces on Mathew (7), Toby (2), and their dads Marcus (36) and Robert (35), along with Mickey, the family Dachshund, are just one example.
Mathew Elms and Robert Anderson, both from Mississippi, recently celebrated 10 years together. “Being in a same-gender parenting relationship is not really any different than any other parenting relationship. For any parenting relationship, you need honesty, trust, compassion, and love.” Describes Robert.
In 2007, Mathew made his debut and this loving couple became loving parents, Daddy (Marcus) and Dad (Robert). When they brought Toby home from the hospital in August 2010, “Daddy” became a stay-at-home Daddy.
Robert is very proud of the fact that Marcus gave up his career as a Director of Purchasing for Ford Corporation to become a stay-at-home daddy. Robert and Marcus believe that focusing on their family together, as well as consciously making time for each other, is one of the things that sustains their relationship.
“We have spent a lot of time with [Mathew] exploring books like King and King, Daddy, Papa, and Me, and It’s Okay to Be Different, showing all kinds of families, so that he is confident and secure in our family dynamic,” says Marcus. They also have been very “open and honest” in their communication with their children with regard to adoption. The family is in close contact with Mathew’s paternal grandparents and Toby’s birth mother and grandmother.
It is apparent that both Mathew and Toby know “how special they are and how unique their family is.” Marcus and Robert have taken what they feel are valuable steps toward ensuring that when and if the “Where is your mommy?” question comes from other kids, their children will be able to handle it.
What is Marcus and Robert’s parting LGBT family advice?
“For those who are thinking about kids, trying to have kids, or wanting more kids… even though there is heartbreak and pain along the way, just remember there is always a plan for us, regardless of how it appears at the time. Look at our family… we now have two wonderful boys of our own, and we wouldn’t trade them for the world!”
And their parting hopes for the LGBT parenting community?
“We would like to see a day when gender identity and sexual orientations are a non-issue in society at large. We want our children to grow up in a world where they can be whoever they are and love whomever they want without judgment. We think the LGBT parenting community has come a very long way since we were growing up, and we only hope it continues to do so.”