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Keywords:

  • father identity;
  • gay fathers;
  • procreative consciousness;
  • reproductive decision making

Our qualitative study examines the social psychology of gay men’s experiences with their procreative, father, and family identities. In-depth interviews were conducted with 19 childless gay men and 20 gay men in the United States who have fathered using diverse means excluding heterosexual intercourse. By focusing on men aged 19 – 55 residing primarily in Florida and New York, our novel analysis illuminates how emerging structural opportunities and shifting constraints shape gay men’s procreative consciousness. Findings reveal that gay men’s procreative consciousness evolves throughout men’s life course, and is profoundly shaped by institutions and ruling relations, such as adoption and fertility agencies, assumptions about gay men, and negotiations with birth mothers, partners, and others.