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Lippa doesn’t know much about Eli’s birth mother, nor is he eager to seek her out.Except in cases of extreme neglect, a biological parent’s rights almost always supersede those of adoptive parents.After lunch, for instance, he has an initial consultation with a surrogacy specialist, and the thought of fathering a child for the first time daunts him. After lunch he has to pick up milk and chicken breasts from the supermarket, drive home, put the groceries away, let the dog out, then drive back across Richmond to pick up his two adopted sons — Eli, eight, and AJ, three — from summer camp and preschool, respectively.He’d like to sneak in a workout, but doubts he’ll have the time.“He has to call everybody ‘sir,’” Lippa corrects me.
But for now — just a brief moment — the only anxiety he’s grappling with is which rolls to order. Yet he’s had precious few opportunities to eat it since he became a father nearly three years ago.If Lippa weren’t so exceedingly earnest and kind in that uniquely Southern way — he uses “gosh,” instead of “god,” for instance — I’d consider his answer a brush-off. No matter how many times I ask why he chose this life for himself (or how I ask it), every time, the answer is always the same: “I’ve just always wanted kids.” * * * rom 2000 to 2013, single men were responsible for only three percent of public adoptions in the United States, making them the second-smallest demographic among the adopting population — just behind “unmarried couples,” according to the Administration for Children and Families, a division within the Department of Health & Human Services.The three percent figure is all the more striking compared to how many single women adopt.“I always knew it was gonna be hard, but not this hard. Or some form of chicken nugget or chicken tender.” So while sushi may seem a minor indulgence to most, it’s a rarity for this 35-year-old single father of two-hopefully-soon-to-be-three children.It’s the simple things you take for granted.” Like going out to eat, he says. What makes Lippa’s single fatherhood remarkable is that it was, and is, entirely elective.