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Keywords:

  • gay men;
  • life course;
  • motivations;
  • parenthood;
  • qualitative;
  • social constructionist

The current qualitative study of 35 preadoptive gay male couples (70 men) examined gay men's motivations to parent and their reasons for pursuing parenthood at the current time. Similar to heterosexual couples, gay men described a range of psychologically oriented reasons as shaping their decision to become parents. Some of these (e.g., desire to teach a child tolerance) may have been uniquely shaped by their sexual minority status, and others (e.g., desire to give a child a good home) in part reflect their adoptive status. Men named age, finances, and relationship factors, as well as unique contextual factors such as the need to find and move to gay-friendly neighborhoods, as influencing their readiness to pursue parenthood at the current time. Gay men's motivations to parent echo normative life course decision-making processes, but also reflect concerns that are uniquely informed by their sexual minority status.