Toronto Dads Illustrate the Magic of ‘Non-Traditional’ Families

As we move forward into 2015 I believe it’s important to reflect on the previous year to see what we can improve on as parents and what we did that totally rocked (from helping make the world a better place to making our kiddies smile). A particular news story on CTV  titled “10 Ways Canadians Made Us Beam with Pride in 2014” caught my attention. 

It’s always nice when the news is not tragic and even better when it’s inspiring with a good moral lesson about human rights. My favorite item on this list of supercool Canadians is a photograph of two Toronto dads meeting their baby in the birthing room for the first time. The photograph, taken by Canadian photographer Lindsay Foster during World Pride celebrations in, June became a huge media sensation. The emotional and inspiring photo depicts the happy couple meeting their son, Milo, after he was born to a surrogate mother. In 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. We have come a long way since then and our society is always evolving. 

The partners and new dads, Frank Nelson and BJ Barone, said they were “overwhelmed” by all the feedback on the photo of them. In an interview with the dads, Nelson told CTV; “We are so lucky to live in a place like Toronto and Canada. I think this picture just represents pure and unconditional love, whether it’s a man or a woman.”

I couldn’t agree more! The ‘traditional’ and ‘old fashioned’ stereotype that a family must have a mom and a dad (and a white picket fence!) is no longer accurate (What is ever?).

I am reminded of the time I taught my son about the many types of families in the world. When he was four we got home from a playdate and he asked me why the two parents (a mom and a dad) of the little girl he was playing with lived together in the same house. He was confused since it was not what he was used to. As a single mom I had not yet sat down and had an official discussion about the various types of families in the world. All my little guy knew was what he was living and experiencing. His norm was having parents not living together, so he thought it rather odd that his friend’s parents lived in the same house. I took this as a teaching opportunity.

I told him that some kids have two mommies, some kids have two daddies, some kids live with their grandparents, some live with a relative, some kids are adopted into families, some kids live with just a mommy or just a daddy, some go back and forth between the two, and then some, like the friend we played with that day, live with both their parents together. Over the years we have met other kids and their parents that fall under each category.

I am extremely fortunate to live in a country that supports gay marriage and same-sex couples having babies. Moving forward into 2015, I hope our neighbors to the south will have more States legally support the marriage of two people that love each other and want to spend their lives together. And kudos to the 36 US States where same-sex marriage is legal. It’s a great positive step to living in an equal world where kids from all different types of families can feel like they belong.

Photo: Getty