double dads



John from Cambridge writes with a double dad dilemma:

My boyfriend and I are at the stage in our (same-sex) relationship where we can discuss adopting children to raise and provide a loving family for.

However, I find it hard in my own head to think of names that we can call ourselves to our children – using our first names seems both too relaxed and too formal at the same time, but the idea of having both of us called ‘Dad’ is a logistical nightmare when our kids want to get the attention of only one of us. Having one of us called ‘father’ and the other as ‘dad’ seems odd too.

So answer me this: what names can we call ourselves to our kids that allow us both to call ourselves ‘dad’ whilst differentiating ourselves from each other?

Readers, have you found a neat solution to this in your own lives? Summon up your helpfulness and go to the comments to assist John.

(A rather self-promotional aside: after the Allusionist episode containing people’s feelings about stepfamily terms, I did a Spoken AMA about it and there were a few interesting comment threads about the vocabulary for family members. Eg a numerical system; words that might be preferable to ‘step’; and, my favourite, someone’s uncle who has never called his wife by her name in THIRTY YEARS OF MARRIAGE.)


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3 Responses to “double dads”

  1. Maya Says:

    Gender doesn’t really matter, does it?

  2. Rose Says:

    “Dad” and “Papa” might be a good choice. I have friends (two women) who are “Momma” and “Moppa” to their kids. Or, if one or both of you come from any traditions that provide you with other options you can look to them….in Arabic, my father was “Baba”. Good luck on your journey to parenthood!

  3. jarthurstormer Says:

    I presume that you both have names. That would be a logical choice.

    Unless you feel it’s necessary to demand that your child refer to both of you by impersonal titles while you refer to the child by its first name.

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