Utah families celebrate Father’s Day


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A loving child-father relationships provides several benefits to children and what better way to see that relationship begin that at IntermountainMedical Center where several first time fathers are celebrating their first Father’s Day.

“Being a father is the most important thing in my life, I can’t imagine being in this world without my kids, they’re the pride and joy of my life,” said Claudio Bello from Salt Lake City.

Claudio spends every Father’s Day with his daughter and son.  But, this year his son’s job and a convention keeping his daughter away, he’s spending a quiet one at home – reading a Father’s Day card his daughter sent him that he says brings tears to his eyes every time he reads it.

When it comes to being the perfect father there is no secret, and as several dads are celebrated today many Utah fathers reflect on what being a dad means to them.

“It’s my number one role in life, to raise happy-healthy-honest-moral kids is my number one goal,” said Tony Butterfield from Sandy.

With Utah laws and times changing gay couples raising children has begun to become a new norm in the state.

Paul and Tony Butterfield made the decision that they wanted to be parents and raise a family while Tony was in graduate school in California.

When they made the decision, Utah law prohibited them from adopting but, they wanted to raise their kids near family in Utah, so, they decided on surrogacy – a decision they’re glad to have made.  Now, 12 years later their twin boys Liam and Lucas are some extraordinary young men with two loving fathers.

While the stereotypes and stigmas of children being raised by gay parents worried Tony and Paul, their kids say not only does the subject not come up at school, they say their classmates don’t think it’s a big deal and have never felt singled out because of it.

From the first day they stepped into fatherhood, to piano lessons and other activities – everyday for these Utah fathers brings them happiness.

“From the first time they crawl, to the first time they solve the quadratic equation.  It’s always filled with new joys and challenges.

For one South Salt Lake father, those joys and challenges are just about to begin.

His wife gave birth to their son on Father’s Day at around three in the morning.  The feeling is still surreal to him as he says it’s strange to think that one minute he wasn’t a dad and the next he is.

“It’s kinda crazy but kind of a blessing,” says Kody Kirkpatrick.

He was afraid of what it would be like to be a father but the second his son, Aidan, came into the world he says it all changed and his mission in life is to do right by his son and raise him well.

For these dads they hope to build on the foundations they grew up with and improve them to give their kids a better life.

And while presents will certainly bring a smile to a dad’s face, these dads real joy comes being proactive in their childrens lives by building strong relationships.

“No matter what, hang out with your kids and even if they’re giving you a hard time, don’t give up.  Be there and be their friend, says Bello.


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