To realize his lifelong dream of fatherhood, 47-year-old Keith Kennard adopted three kids from Georgia’s Independent Adoption Center (IAC). But while he enjoyed family life, having children didn’t really help his chances of finding a mate. “That’s not even an option when you have three kids,” says Kennard. “Most men don’t want to walk into a situation with a man who has three kids.” At least that’s what he thought until he met David Mayer, a single man with three sons and a daughter from a prior (hetero) relationship. Three years later, they began living under the same roof and raising their seven kids together — it’s kinda like The Brady Bunch, only with two daddies.
Kennard, Mayer, and their seven kids live in Georgia, a state without any laws forbidding gay adoption. Hooray! Kennard opted for open adoptions, which will keep his kids in touch with their birth parents. He also chose to adopt African-American kids with health challenges, because he hated the seeing so many left waiting for a family.
Like Kay and Gail, the lesbian couple who adopted 9 kids, Mayer and Kennard say the joys of family life outweighs the costs. To balance their work as a security manager and nurse alongside the childrens’ academics and participation in after-school sports and JROTC, they raise their seven kids on a very regimented schedule. All that’s missing? Other gay dads to lean on for support.
“It’s a chaotic day keeping up with kids and doctors appointments and just their daily lives,” says Mayer. “[We] get dinner on the table, homework checked and have them in bed by 10 o’clock, and the day starts all over again. We don’t get a lot of rest.” In the fictional television version of their lives, they have live-in help. Go ask Alice.