Dear Beyond Baby Mamas community — I love y’all. There’s a lot I wanted to write in this post that will kick off our week-long celebration of Beyond Baby Mamas’ one-year anniversary. But the first and most essential thing is that I love all of you. From the mothers and fathers who’ve volunteered to share […]
Our Affirming Black and Brown Fatherhood Series continues with today’s profiled father, Robert Gillespie. We asked Robert about becoming an adoptive dad in his 40s, why single dads get treated differently than single moms, and what he’s learned during his parenting journey. We’re proud to share his story.
Beyond Baby Mamas: How old were you when you became a dad? Where were you in life (fairly established, personally and professionally, or still finding your footing)?
I was 41 when I became a dad. I was established professionally and personally but had a job that required frequent (often at short notice) international travel, so I had to change jobs in order to be a single father.
BBM: How did you become the custodial parent of your son?
Biologically, my son is my nephew but his birth parents are unable to care for a child. I have had him since he was two days old and I have legally adopted him.
BBM: When people find our that you’re raising him on your own, do they make a big deal of it?
Many people do, particularly if they find out he’s adopted.
BBM: What do you think it means, in general, that people tend to compliment single fathers for performing parenting duties on their own?
This is a tough question. In some sense, I understand why people are sometimes so complimentary about single fathers; there are certainly fewer single fathers than single mothers. But sometimes I think the compliments mask the fact that a lot more fathers are raising kids by themselves, that we are becoming more of a norm.