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Kevin Sturtevant and Steve Geishecker became dads when they adopted their newborn daughter Gabriella just over a year ago. They're part of a national trend: more and more same-sex couples are raising children. These days, an estimated one in five LGBT couples has a child under the age of 18.
Sturtevant and Geishecker, of Silver Spring, Md., have been together for nearly 20 years.
"In the early days that we were together, we didn't think that being parents was going to be in the cards for us," says Geishecker. "As a same-sex couple, it was going to be challenging for us."
But they both loved children. Three or four years ago, they decided to adopt, and chose an open adoption.
"The birth mother, or birth parents choose the adoptive family they want to place the child with," explains Geishecker.
"You're basically marketing yourself as a perspective parent," says Sturtevant.
The birth parents can also have an ongoing relationship with the child and the adoptive parents. Gabriella's birth mother was a college student in Indiana. She was three months pregnant when she contacted Geishecker and Sturtevant through the adoption agency.
"When she first called us, we instantly felt a connection. And when we went out and met her, we definitely felt that," says Sturtevant.
During the pregnancy they traveled to Indiana to be there throughout the process. A few months later, they were both there for Gabriella's birth.
"I'll never forget, the nursing staff — I think they loved the fact that there were two guys there with the baby, who clearly didn't really know what we were doing," says Sturtevant.
They've kept in touch with Gabriella's birth mother, and in May, they returned to Indiana, to attend her college graduation.
"She really wanted her to be out there with her during graduation, since the pregnancy and the baby were a big part of her college experience."
[Music: "Isn't She Lovely" by Bireli Lagrene & Sylvain Luc from Best Moments]