Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad-To-Be Writes To The Mother Of His Future Child

To The Mother of Our Future Child,


We are so excited to talk to you for the very first time. Your story is one that is so important to us, but it is also so important to that tiny baby inside of you. Where are you from? What’s your name? What do you like to do?

All right, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Sorry. We get excited, and then we talk too much. So maybe we should introduce ourselves first. We’re Anthony and Dominic, and we’re hoping to be dads soon, hopefully with your help. We’ve put together a whole book for you to look at, talking about our lives, who we are as men and as a couple, and why we think we would be the most amazing fathers to this child.

Let’s make this clear, though. While we will be the fathers to this baby, you will always be the mom. And that’s important to us. Our child will want to know where he or she came from, and while we’ll create a beautifully creative and imaginative “How You Came To Us” story full of storks and cabbage patches and dreams and wishes, your story is one that our child will someday want to know. So, if you should decide to select us to be the parents to raise your baby, we’d like to make some promises to you.

We promise that we will always love this baby, unconditionally, every minute of every day of every year.

We promise that we will probably buy a few too many toys for this baby, toys that are fun and cute, but also toys that help teach and challenge, because learning is important.

We promise that we will read to this baby. We will teach this baby to dream and create and conquer, one story at a time, because imagination is important.

We promise that we will buy this baby a tiny hockey jersey, with our names on the back, so that when he or she comes to Anthony’s hockey games, the fans there will know that our child has a goalie for a dad, and that’s pretty darn cool.

We promise that when this baby grows into a toddler, we will work hard to be sure that there are vegetables on his or her plate, even though Anthony might not want to eat them himself.

We promise that we will teach this toddler how to ride a bike, and we will get him or her the coolest bike on the block. We can’t promise you that we’ll be comfortable when the training wheels come off, but we imagine there’s room to grow on this one.

We promise that we will take this toddler to Disney World, to feel wrapped up in the happiest place on Earth, with two dads who are hoping to show this baby the most fantastic and magical world possible, because our family will be living proof that, with a little luck, the dreams that you wish do come true.

We promise that when this toddler turns into a teenager, we will allow him or her to play whatever sports or participate in any extracurricular activities that he or she might want, with no pressure from us. Because once upon a time, that teenager’s mom made a decision that supported our dreams; we will always return that favor.

We promise you that this teenager will be uncomfortable with the extended amount of prom pictures that he or she will be asked to pose for, on the front lawn, just like we did as kids. Because as wonderful and beautiful as life is, sometimes it’s also about standing in a rented tuxedo while Grandma gets her picture just right.

Anthony and his husband Dominic

We promise you that when this teenager becomes an adult and meets someone to love, and to marry, that we will cry at the wedding. That’s a guarantee.

We promise that we will keep you as updated on as much of these events as you would like. Whether that means e-mails, or phone calls, we want you to be part of the conversation about how much information you’d like to receive. If it’s nothing, that’s okay. And if it’s something more than nothing, well, that’s okay too.

But most importantly, we promise that this baby will know about the sacrifice you are making, to allow us to become fathers. Because we cannot do this without you, your story is one that we will tell with pride and reverence to our child. You are not a forgotten part of this child’s life, you are an integral part of it, and that means the world to us.

Adoption is about family, about love, and about making dreams come true. For us, absolutely. For a baby who will become a toddler, and the toddler who will become a teenager, and the teenager who will become an adult, for sure. We are in this thing together, you and us. We’re here for you.

So, like we said, we tend to get chatty when we get excited. I’m sure there’s more to say, and we can say it another time. Because we are hoping to hear from you again, maybe with questions, maybe with answers. Maybe with promises of your own.

But you’ve got partners in this now, men who will be here for and with you. And that’s a promise that means more to us than anything in the world.

Here’s to making dreams come true, you and us, and that baby who will always be ours.

With all the love in our hearts,

Anthony & Dominic

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One Surrogate's Experience Carrying Twins for Gay and HIV+ Intended Parents

Checking the "yes" box to serve as a surrogate in the Special Program for Assisted Reproduction (SPAR) program, she says, was one of the most rewarding decisions she's ever made

Photo credit: Cassandra Photo

In partnership with Circle Surrogacy. Written by a Circle surrogate who carried twins for an international gay couple in the SPAR program.

The word serendipity is such a magical word, and one that's rarely used. But so far, it's the best word I can think of to describe my surrogacy experience, carrying twins for a gay HIV positive couple in the SPAR program.

I came to surrogacy because I have been drawn to help others my whole life. Because of a medical condition, my sister is unable to have her own children. I witnessed first-hand the painful questions young women are asked all too often: "When are you going to have kids?" Hearing my sister reply, "I won't be" helped shape me into who I am today, and my decision to become a surrogate.

I was looking for something exceptional in my surrogacy, but I didn't know exactly what that was. When I applied to be a surrogate, I had never thought of all the different walks of life waiting and hoping for someone to come along and help create a family for them.

Saying "yes" to the Special Program for Assisted Reproduction (SPAR).

During the application process I was asked if I would consider carrying a baby for intended parents in SPAR. I initially checked off the "NO" box; originally, I wasn't interested in working with someone in the SPAR program who was HIV+. Honestly, I did not fully understand what I read about it, and it seemed complicated and frightening. Checking off "No" seemed easier. But I sat there for a moment, trying to open up my mind. I thought to myself, 'What's the harm in checking "Yes" and getting more information?' Becoming a surrogate was going to be the biggest learning experience of my life, and I wanted to be all in! I changed my answer to "Yes," which I now feel was serendipity.

Soon after submitting my application, I received my first intended parent profile almost immediately. I was so excited I could burst! There were names and faces behind all this paperwork—an international gay couple in the SPAR program. Wow!

Their pictures were happy and handsome. At first, I felt a little overwhelmed. For some reason I expected a cookie-cutter heterosexual couple from Iowa or another U.S. state. My husband and I discussed the couple's profile extensively.

I had so much going through my head. What if these intended parents got sick from HIV and were not able to take care of their babies? I wondered what their lives looked like day to day, what medications they were taking, and their overall health. Most of these questions came from my lack of knowledge of HIV, and the advancements that have been made over the past few decades. So I did more research.

My husband and I learned that men in the SPAR program must be actively treating their HIV. My IPs were just as "healthy" as anyone else I could carry for. We also spoke with Dr. Kiessling about the science behind the program, and how it has been made possible that a man can be a bio dad without passing on HIV to the carrier of the baby. Dr. Kiessling explained the process of making all of this possible and safe; she is an expert in her field and has devoted her life to this research and development. With that knowledge, I felt completely comfortable that I was not at risk.

When we Skyped with our intended parents, I never once thought about SPAR or HIV. These two men were intriguing. It came down to the fact that I felt that they should have the same right as anyone else to experience parenthood. Both my husband and I knew they were the right match for us. From then on, I can honestly say joining SPAR became a non-issue for me.

SPAR didn't define the dads, parenthood did.

During my journey, I only shared with my husband and a few close friends of mine that my intended parents were HIV positive. After I first met my intended parents, I really never thought about it. I did not want HIV to define them. I wanted to get to know them as soon-to-be dads. I wanted them to have a surrogacy experience just as anyone else would. This is the most exciting time of their lives and one of the most exciting times of mine! I did not feel like it was my business to share personal information about my IPs to others. No one else goes around introducing people as a medical diagnosis so why should they be treated that way? We just felt joy!

While I never focused on the fact that my IPs were HIV+, I felt more connected to them because they were in the SPAR program. I knew they didn't have the same number of gestational carrier match options that gay men who weren't part of the SPAR program had. It felt even more gratifying for me to be able to be the person who helped make their dreams come true.

Love is love.

I wholeheartedly believe that checking the "Yes" box was a defining moment in my life. I expanded my mind to something so pure and brand new. The concept, however, was one that was very familiar to me: Love is love, and everyone deserves to have their wildest dreams come true. These two men who walked into my life now have two flawless, healthy baby boys and will forever be a family.

I still keep in touch with the dads, and they send me photos and updates of the babies. Even though I carried their babies, I'm the one who is grateful that they came into our lives. I learned so much on my surrogacy journey, and grew as a person, and I have them to thank.

***

If you'd like more information on Circle's SPAR program, please visit our page on SPAR parenting






.

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Ricky Martin's Kids Design Shirt to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria

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Since Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria last year, Ricky Martin has been at the forefront of relief efforts, traveling frequently to his home island to help rebuild houses, raise money, and increase awareness of the continuing struggle there.

Earlier this month, the gay dad of two announced his most recent effort to support the cause, a campaign called "De mi familia a tu familia" (From my family to your family). The project is aiming to raise funds for Puerto Rico by selling t-shirts designed by his twins, Matteo and Valentino.

On the anniversary of the hurricane, the singer took to twitter, writing: "this is stronger than me. I could not wait another day. A year later, we FOLLOW #Allin4PR. The number of deaths after hurricane Maria was high, but the spirit of my people is UNBREAKABLE."

He continued, writing: "As we continue to strengthen hearts and demand hope, we still need your help. Therefore, from my family to yours, I share with you a symbol of hope, our beautiful flag, painted by my children. All proceeds from the limited edition of this shirt help the Ricky Martin Foundation continue to provide sustenance – not only in the reconstruction of homes in Loíza, but for emotional healing and social transformation."

To support the cause by buying the shirt made by Ricky Martin's kids, follow this link.

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Openly gay Congressman Jared Polis, the Democratic nominee for Governor in Colorado, is currently leading in the polls against his Republican Challenger, Walker Stapleton. Polis shook up the Governor's race last summer in Colorado by throwing his hat into the ring for the Democratic primary. If elected, the dad of two would become the nation's first openly gay male Governor. (Kate Brown, the openly bisexual Governor of Oregon, is the only member of the LGBTQ community to win election to a state's highest Executive office in the country.)

Polis, who was first elected to represent Colorado's Second Congressional District in 2008 and serves as co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus, is no stranger to making history. In 2011, when he and his partner Marlon Reis announced the birth of their son, Caspian Julius, Polis became the first openly gay parent to serve in the United States Congress. The couple welcomed a daughter, named Cora, in 2014.

Despite making history in this way, Polis and his husband have thus far kept private about their family, declining to state publicly whether their children were adopted or born via surrogacy.

Polis, who already beat out a crowded field of fellow Democrats vying for the state's top position, was seen as a strong contended as soon as he entered the race. He has been among the state's more popular Representatives, consistently winning reelection with comfortable margins. Also, thanks to several successful internet ventures prior to his turn as a public servant, he is one of the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress, meaning he's had plenty of cash on hand for his campaign.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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