Become a Gay Dad

7 Tips to Consider When Choosing Your Surrogate or Gestational Carrier

Here are 7 Important Criteria to Review Before You Meet with a Prospective Gestational Carrier


You've either found your  gestational carrier (often called a “surrogate”) on your own or through a surrogacy agency. While the relationship between prospective dad and carrier is dependent on the personalities involved, here's a checklist of 7 items that should accurately describe all gestational carriers interested in helping gay men become dads.

1. She’s gay friendly. 

Generally, gestational carriers are allowed to choose which types of families they are comfortable working with and which they are not. A good agency will take the time to ensure your gestational carrier is not only comfortable helping gay men become dads, but she is in fact truly excited by the idea!

2. She’s already successfully carried a child to term. 

Roughly 10 percent of couples are affected by infertility. As a result, surrogacy agencies only work with women who have already successfully conceived and carried a child to term. This also ensures that the carrier will know what it's like to be pregnant and to deliver a baby.

3. She’s completed her own family.

A gestational carrier’s willingness to carry your child to term shouldn't make it impossible for her to complete her own family; therefore, make sure that your gestational carrier has completed her own family before she embarks on your family-creation journey.

4. She’s younger than 40.

While there are some exceptions, most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics will only work with adult women between 21-40 years old, which represents their peak childbearing years.

5. She has a healthy BMI. 

A body mass index (BMI) over 35 can complicate a woman’s ability to conceive. As a result, agencies work with gestational carriers whose BMI is typically no more than 33. (For an egg donor, the standards are typically stricter, since being overweight can affect the quality of a woman’s eggs.)

6. She has no recent history of mood disorders. 

Surrogacy agencies will screen potential gestational carriers based on whether they are currently taking (or have recently ceased taking) anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. Most agencies and fertility doctors require carriers to be free of such meds for a full year before entering a surrogacy contract.

7. She has emotional support from loved ones.

A gestational carrier must provide proof that her spouse is supportive of her decision  to embark on a surrogacy journey. If she is not married, she must have other people in her life who are supportive of her decision to act as a carrier, and who plan to provide love and support throughout for your carrier throughout the journey and in case of an emergency.

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One bonus consideration that is very important!

Make sure you genuinely like your carrier and enjoy spending time with her. You are going to share many moments with each other, and you'll become intimately involved in each other's lives throughout the journey.  Carriers deserve our utmost respect and support, and should be treated like a family member. So it's very important that you get along well.

Read Surrogacy for Gay Couples and Singles.

 

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Become a Gay Dad

Jewish Agency to Help Cover the Costs of Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."

Gay Dad Life

Why Date Night Is So Important

When you're a parent, time alone with your significant other isn't a luxury — it's a necessity.

Even before the morning sunlight — and my eyelids — have lifted, I'm reminded that I'm somebody's father. It's usually around 5:40am when my 8-year old son Maxwell pokes his head into our room shouting "cock-a-doodle-doo" at the top of his lungs. He's usually wearing an adorably comfy onesie, a look he thankfully refuses to retire. His rooster call is followed up with strict demands in quick succession:

"Warm milk!"

"Turn on the lights."

"Where's your phone?"

"Put on Nick Jr."

"Feed me yogurt while I play Fortnite!" (Note: we don't… well… anymore.)

This Groundhog Day routine follows us as we pick out his clothes for the day —"Comfy camouflage t-shirt and sweat pants!" he insists (shoot me now). We then make him breakfast, prepare his packed lunch and then make sure his completed homework is in his schoolbag.

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Change the World

In a First, Scottish Gay Male Couple Offered IVF Treatment by NHS

But the government stressed gay couples will still be responsible for finding a surrogate

In a first, the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain is offering to fund an IVF treatment for two gay men forming their family via surrogacy. Previously, the NHS had refused to do so because of a ban on funding such treatment when a surrogate is involved. Two years ago, the Scottish government changed the law to allow any couple to be eligible. There have been no other cases of IVF treatment for people in England and Wales.

According to the Daily Mail, the Scottish couple (who requested anonymity) revealed they had been granted NHS treatment when they posted an appeal online for an egg donor.

"Our NHS clinic don't have any anonymous egg donors, they advised us we would need to find a known egg donor," the posting said. "Any suggestions how to go about it?"

After a friend voiced surprise that the NHS was offering gay couples treatment, one of the men replied, "it's a new service they offer in Scotland… we only found out [about it] when the GP referred us."

The move was welcomed by LGBTQ groups in England. Stonewall said: 'We welcome any move that ensures lesbian, gay, bi and trans people have fair and equal access to fertility treatment.'

When the Daily Mail reached out to the Scottish government for comment, they confirm fertility treatment for same-sex male couples using a surrogate. But they also emphasized gay men would be responsible for finding their own surrogate.

Change the World

Judge's Decision in NY 'Compassionate Surrogacy' Case Involving Gay Dad Overturned

Though compensated surrogacy remains illegal in New York State, "compassionate surrogacy" arrangements are remain legal

Last week, an unanimous four-judge panel, part of the New York Appellate Division in Brooklyn, New York, revived a gay dad's petition to adopt his son born via surrogacy. The dad, identified as "Joseph P." in court documents, had earlier been denied his petition to adopt by a Queens County Family Court Judge, John M. Hunt. The Queens judge denied the petition because compensated surrogacy contracts are illegal in New York. However, the child born to Joseph was born via "compassionate surrogacy," meaning his gestational surrogate was not compensated.

The Appellate court's decision, written by Justice Alan D. Scheinkmanm called Hunt's decision "clearly erroneous," and held that a new Family Court judge should re-hear the case.

Judge Hunt's decision is all the more confusing since Joseph had actually already become a father via surrogacy in New York—three times over. In each instance, he used donor eggs and a friend serving, voluntarily, as the gestational surrogate. He had his first child in 2012, and then twins the following year. In all three instances, a Family Court judge granted Joseph's adoption petition, given that each child was conceived via "compassionate surrogacy," meaning no money changes hands in the course of a surrogacy journey between carrier an intended parent. This type of surrogacy arrangement is not illegal under to New York law. The social worker in Joseph's latest attempt to adopt, Gay City News noted, also gave him a favorable review, calling him "a mature, stable, and caring person who intentionally created a family of himself, the twins, and John."

Gay City News notes: "Justice Scheinkman provided a careful description of the laws governing surrogacy in New York. The Legislature provided that surrogacy contracts are unenforceable and treated as void. However, the only surrogacy contracts actually outlawed are those where the surrogate is compensated. It was clear to the Appellate Division that the Legislature did not mean to outlaw voluntary surrogacy arrangements, merely to make them unenforceable in the courts. Those who enter into a compensated surrogacy agreement face a small monetary fine and people who act as brokers to arrange such agreements are liable for a larger penalty. There is no penalty for voluntary, uncompensated surrogacy arrangements."

Read the full article here.

Entertainment

How Fatherhood Has Impacted Tom Daley's Diving Career for the Better

British diver Tom Daley, and new-ish gay dad, is looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in South Korea.

British diver Tom Daley is currently in the running to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in South Korea, his fourth if he competes, at the young age of just 26.

But he also has another concern that most young gay men his age couldn't fathom—fatherhood. He and his husband, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, recently welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogacy in June 2018.

In an interview with the Independent, Daley explained how fatherhood has changed his routine and training, which he says is often for the better.

"It has changed my life completely in all of the best ways possible," Daley said. "It has changed my perspective, the way I think about things. [My son] is the most important thing in my life, everything I do is for him, everything I think about he is at the forefront of everything."

With respect to his diving career, Daley continued, "if you have a bad day at training, or a good day, you are grounded immediately when you get home through the door because you are having cuddles or you are having to change a dirty nappy. It is the first time that I have been able to leave diving at the diving board and not think about what I need to the next day in the pool."

Whatever the challenges he faces while training, he said, "I can leave it there because you don't have time to think about diving when you are looking after a kid under one."

The strategy seems to be working in Daley's favor. He recently enjoyed his most successful FINA Diving World Series ever this past Spring in Canada, winning 12 medals across five events. And barring any major catastrophe, he is overwhelmingly expected to qualify for South Korea 2020.

And we can't wait to cheer the young dad on!

Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

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Politics

America's First Gay Dad Governor Heads Into the Lion's Den

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently became the first elected Democrat to speak at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver

Last Friday, American's first gay dad Governor, Jared Polis, became the first elected Democrat to speak at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, where he urged the Republican crowd to help him build a "Colorado for all."

"While we should never gloss over the things that divide us, there is a lot more that unites us," Polis said. "When we close ourselves off from discussion or debate, and we reject the possibility of hearing and understanding other perspectives, it threatens the fabric of our democracy."

If he was hoping for a Kumbaya moment, he didn't exactly get it. As he was called to the stage, he was greeted with a smattering of applause—while others booed and shouted for a "recall" of the Governor.

"It was almost unbearable for me to sit there to listen to his talk," Abby Johnson, one of the event's attendees, told the Denver Post. "And I'm going to tell you why. He kept talking about equality for all persons, yet we live in a society where 60 million innocent human beings have been slaughtered in the name of choice. Where is their justice? Where is their equal rights?"

Polis was also criticized from his left flank for attending the same event that refuses to let the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, participate—and that featured Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker the same day. "To me it feels like vanity," Katie Farnan, a staffer with progressive group Indivisible, told the Denver Post. "He can go and be a hip Democratic governor who isn't afraid to go into GOP sanctuary. Or maybe it's recall insurance. But unless he was there to hold them accountable for their support for fascist and racist policies, what's the point?"

In response to the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Polis told the Colorado Sun: "I think it's very important that Coloradans of different ideologies, different races, different geographies, different orientations and gender identities all really celebrate that we're all part of what makes Colorado great."

The event is hosted each year by Colorado Christian University to bring together conservatives from around the state, and the larger West.

What do you think, dads? Was Polis's decision to speak at the event a savvy political move or mere pandering?

Fatherhood, the gay way

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