Raising a child is hard work — as anyone knows, but raising a daughter as gay dads 20+ years ago — almost unheard of. The Next Family’s Brandy Black had Kevin Montgomery-Duban, the author of The Family Next Door, speak about what it was like for he and his husband to raise his daughter.
Brandy begins the interview explaining how Kevin and his husband were mentors and inspirational to her when she and her wife, Susan, were planning out their family.
“Ultimately, that’s why I wrote the book,” says Kevin, “If I could inspire just one young man or woman growing up feeling like I’m different and I’m not going to fit in, and they can see that you can create an amazing life and you can have whatever you want, then I’ve done my job.”
To create his family 22 years ago, Kevin and Dennis used a surrogate, Kevin’s cousin, to have their daughter.
“Did you experience any adversity being a two-dad family? What was the response from the people around you?” Brandy asked.
“I figured 50% of the people going in were going to have a problem and literally it was almost nil. A little few things — a couple of people here and there, but for the most part people thought the story was magical,” Kevin replied. “The negative responses were cursory. We heard someone might have had a problem, but they really didn’t [say anything] to our face.”
However Kevin and Dennis did get a lot of questions when they went out in public:
“Two guys can not show up with a baby and people not ask a question like, ‘Where did they come from?’ And we got, ‘Where is the mom?'”
And even with those questions, Kevin remained positive. “I always said she has two dads.”
Brandy asked Kevin how it was for his daughter growing up with two dads, whether Chelsea, his daughter, got asked questions by other children or people at school.
Kevin tells a story of how one girl asked his daughter where her mom was and when she explained she had two dads, the girl told Chelsea, “Well, either you have a mom or she’s dead.”
Still, Chelsea handled it well and told her father, Kevin, “Dad, she just doesn’t get it.” Kevin found that his daughter was confident and secure in who she was and her family. Better yet, she never hoped for a mom or resented that she didn’t have a mother.
“Interesting enough, I think she and I had a very ‘mom-daughter’ relationship,” Kevin said.
Overall, Kevin’s experience as a father raising a daughter 22 years ago was absolutely positive and his family story was inspirational to others: “More often than not, we would tell [our] story and people would tear up.”
Check out his story below: