Daddy & Papa is a one-hour documentary video that opens a candid window on the personal, cultural and political implications of gay fatherhood. From surrogacy, foster care and interracial adoption to the complexities of gay divorce and the legal battles around gay parenting, Daddy & Papa presents a revealing look at some of the gay fathers who are breaking new ground in the ever-changing landscape of the American family.
The film utilizes an accessible, first-person narrative to create an intimate portrayal of gay dads, following the filmmaker and his partner on their rocky, and sometimes amusing, journey to parenthood. Along the way, we meet other gay dads: a single father confronting the isolation of raising at-risk kids in a gay and largely childless neighborhood; a healthcare worker battling Florida state law to adopt the child who for five years has called him "Dad;" and a couple and their nine-year-old daughter, whose biggest problem is not that her parents are gay, but that they are divorced. Daddy & Papa takes an unflinching look at some of the complex issues surrounding gay fatherhood, including the effect of sexual orientation on children, the challenge of white gay men raising African American kids, the changing relationship of gay fathers to the gay community and the real impact on children of being raised without a mother. In the process, it reveals a new picture of what it means to be a family.
For tips on facilitating a community forum, information on adoption and foster care, an overview of legal issues and more, download our 8-page Discussion Guide from the Resources section.
"Splendid... Students from a variety of social science disciplines would greatly benefit from seeing this delightful video, including psychology, sociology, government, anthropology, gender studies, sexuality studies, and policy studies. I will use Daddy & Papa for years to come."
"With emotional intelligence, humor, honesty, and courage, Daddy and Papa 'brings to life the rich social and racial diversity and challenges of gay parenting. This artful, heart-full documentary should be mandatory viewing for every family judge, social worker, educator, mental health professional, policy maker, and neighbor."
"Wise, honest, and provocative, this intimate look at the state of gay fatherhood at the dawn of the 21st century is highly recommended."
"I show Daddy & Papa every year to my MSW students who plan to work with children and families. As an African-American woman who was a foster care placement worker before becoming a professor, I find this film informative on SO many levels. It leads to great classroom discussion on what White adoptive parents must do to be sensitive and effective parents to Black children."
"The controversial subject of gay adoption gets thorough and sympathetic consideration...(in) this thought provoking film."
"Takes into account many of the complex issues of parenting, especially cross-race adoption, the ethics of surrogacy, and the effect on relationships, including the children. An extremely useful film for classroom teaching."
"A superb presentation... Daddy & Papa illustrates the critical importance of children having loving and caring parents, whether they be traditional or gay. The gay men portrayed here realize they can do an even better job as parents by embracing cross-cultural sensitivity when raising children from a different ethnic or racial background."
"Well made and thought provoking. Sure to generate a good class discussion."
"Outstanding... enhanced by good production values and smooth editing, this award-winning video is an excellent choice for university and large public libraries."
"I have translated this documentary into Slovenian and I must say I must have seen it 30 times already. It is hard to put into words what the documentary does. Not only does it inform students about this very important issue, but it also changes their minds...and hearts. Every year, I tell my students that this is the one lecture they don't want to miss."
"Daddy & Papa has been indispensable in my training of social workers around the country. The film is able to open minds regarding LGBT family adoption in ways that I as a trainer, cannot. The genuine, loving, and nuturing gay men in this film allow us into their lives and help participants break down whatever objections they may have to their families."
"I showed the video last night in my Marriage and Family class, and I was in tears and so were a few of my students. Your video is truly a wonderful documentary, and I will definitely be showing it again."
"Engaging...brings honesty, humor and humanity to its examination of a significant phenomenon in the ever-changing map of the American family."
"A poignant, compelling story of gay fathers in today's America - as they parent across racial, national, and religious lines, yet personify the most fundamental of family values. A winner of a film that I would like to make universally required viewing."
"The film educates, inspires, and entertains."
"College classes and community groups can use Daddy & Papa to prompt complex discussions about parenting and family diversity that transcend the topic of gay fatherhood."
"Daddy & Papa... is loaded with humor"
"In this remarkably lucid documentary, filmmaker and gay father Johnny Symons traces the evolution of his paternal feelings while also following the stories of a wide range of gay families."
"The message of Symons' frank and frequently poignant documentary is that hard work, love, and commitment - not gender or sexual orientation - are what constitute a good home for a child. Daddy & Papa is a thoughtful and frequently entertaining reminder of this simple truth."
"A terrific film. Presents an accurate, in-depth, and complex view of gay parenting. Ideal for academic environments as well as community forums."
"An important force in ongoing discussion about gay families and the changing face of fatherhood."
"Charming, funny, and moving."
"A smart and winning portrait of loving families that come together by choice and commitment, in spite of both legal and societal odds."
"An intelligent, funny, and well-reasoned film. Whether viewers agree or disagree, Daddy & Papa nevertheless entertains tremendously."
"These men... are eloquent about both the richness of family life and the stereotypes that they have to confront."
"Very engaging... useful for diversity, social problems, social psychology, and a host of other courses. The film is appropriate for students at all levels. This is one of the best films the reviewers have seen during our time as sociology majors."