Gay Dad Life

How the Birth of a Son Bonded Four Adults Forever

After their son was born, Scott and Brian Foster said their family's ties to their surrogate and her husband was forever set in stone.

Hannah Quarcini Photography

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"We both felt the fact that you are now a 'father' doesn't set in immediately. It is love, admiration, and the overwhelming feeling of emotion that describes these first moments and weeks with our son. As time goes on, your love evolves into a smirk from him, the way he holds his bottle, or a cute outfit that he wears."

Scott and Brian Foster are new dads to baby Silas who was born March 17, 2019, at 5:35am.


The beginning

Photo credit: Hannah Quarcini Photography

The two met in 2012 through a mutual friend, and neither was looking for anything long-term. Regardless, their relationship progressed rapidly and they moved in together nearly three months after first meeting. "We quickly realized that we shared many of the same interests including travel, dining, wine tasting, and the idea of a family in the future," said Brian.

As the years went on, the couple watched their friends begin their next phase of their lives – becoming engaged, married, and starting a family – and they realized this was something they also wanted. "We understood that our friends who were starting families were mostly straight couples and the journey for them was quite clear," said Brian. "We started researching how to achieve this on our own and reached out to people outside of our immediate network to hear the steps they took to start their family in a nonconventional way."

Having a genetic connection to their future child was very important to Brian and Scott so they pursued surrogacy. "A lawyer we were working with recommended Circle Surrogacy as a top, long standing agency with proven results," said Scott. "She also said that if we were looking for more of a hand-holding experience, that an agency route would be best."

The dads didn't look back.

The journey

Photo credit: Hannah Quarcini Photography

After meeting with Jen Rachman, Circle's Outreach Associate, they knew that this was where they wanted to start their journey. "We had already explored our options, positioned ourselves financially, and fully ready to commit." They browsed egg donors, selected and matched quickly, and not long after they were matched with their phenomenal surrogate who was interested in working with a gay couple.

"We met her and her husband over Skype and fell for each other immediately," said Scott. During their journey the dads truly connected with their surrogate and her family, including her three children, their parents, and extended family. "When we flew for our OB visits we stayed in her home every time, which was initially her suggestion. Her young children think of us as uncles and they were cognizant of the fact that their mother was doing this selfless act for us and our child of course would not remain with their family. They also understood that we would be part of their lives forever and this was not just a quick exchange."

To Brian and Scott, their surrogate and her family will forever be extended family to them. "We will be proud to educate to our child on the process and explain how loved and wanted he was," said Brian. "It will be a joy to explain to him about these two women, the benefit of science, and the support of a wonderful agency. He was created to be with us!"

Brian and Scott have felt nothing but compassion, understanding and support from both their egg donor and surrogate throughout their path to fatherhood. "Through the months leading up to his birth they had sent us gifts, made baby blankets, many well wishes, advice, and of course support after Silas was born," said Scott.

The dads-to-be also had a very strong support system of friends and family. "When we shared our dream to create a family together, our families were excited, present and a guiding force during the entire process," said Brian. "We could have not done this without them." All of Brian and Scott's grandparents were absolutely thrilled at the prospect of meeting their youngest great-grandson and the newest generation to join their families.

The birth

Photo credit: Hannah Quarcini Photography

A week before the birth of their son, Scott and Brian flew to their surrogate's house, at her request. She was experiencing contractions and the dads, eager not to miss the birth of their son, hoped on a flight and then waited it out.

A week passed and they were still waiting.

Finally on March 16 at 7pm her water broke. They grabbed their hospital bags, carefully selected outfits for their soon-to-arrive son, and notified the birthing photographer.

"We walked into the hospital and quickly realized this was not like the movies," chuckled Brian. "Everything was very calm, slowly filling out paperwork, patiently checking us all in, then bringing us to the first room to confirm vitals and dilation."

After the nurse checked their surrogate – she was measuring five centimeters and there were traces of amniotic fluid present - they were admitted. At this point, they were all moved into the delivery room, and the big wait began. "We were full of nervousness and uncertainty. We couldn't have predicted the bonding experience of what was to come. We were tired, hungry, exhausted, giddy, nervous, and anxious," shared Scott.

Six or seven hours later, everything began progressing very quickly. She was 9.5 centimeters dilated! The dads remember hearing "Okay, we are having a baby" and the medical team came rushing in and it looked like perfectly organized chaos.

"I said to Scott and our surrogate's husband 'how are we going to do this when he comes— we are exhausted,'" remembers Brian. "Our surrogate's husband just laughs knowingly as he has gone through this three times with his wife – 'ADRENALINE takes over' he said."

After three strong pushes, Silas was born. "It was truly the most magnificent experience we have had in our lives."

The first moments

Photo credit: Hannah Quarcini Photography

"This moment of watching our son being born and then holding our son was extraordinary and surreal," recalled Brian. Although the dads were part of the process every step of the way, nothing could've prepared them for that first moment.

"It is that culminating moment when he is placed in your arms, his cheek to your chest, starring down in awe and admiration," continued Brian. "There is a wave of calmness that flushes over you and a feeling of closeness that is shared with him and your husband as all three are immediately bonded in this emotional state of togetherness. The focus is solely on him, absorbing his lips, his fingers, his squinty eyes, his fair skin, and his delicate body. There is this new person in the room we waited so long for that has just chosen us as his fathers to guide him, love him, and shape him. We felt we knew him forever, but just met."

The experience of the birth bonded the four adults for life with baby Silas. After Brian and Scott did skin-to-skin, it was important to the new dads that their surrogate also enjoys that connection. The next couple of days in hospital, as the couples had rooms next to each other, they spent 90% of the time in their surrogate's room letting her hold him and snuggle him.

"Whenever we are asked about our first moments meeting our son we always explain it was the true meaning of love at first sight."

The future

"As for the rest of our journey, it will be filled with excitement, milestones, unpredictability, and of course full of sleepless nights. However, we look forward to showing our beautiful son the world through the eyes of an eager, smart, and if we may say so handsome fella," shared Brian.

The dads plan to grow their family again later this year, and their surrogate has already agreed to work with them on a sibling journey with a little baby girl. "This experience has been seamless, faster than most, and truly incredible. Even with small hiccups from time to time the experienced coordinators and advisors have always guided us from Circle and our Fertility Clinic. We have had such a remarkable experience and grateful to hold our little boy Silas James."


All photos by Hannah Quarcini, Hannah Quarcini Photography



Show Comments ()
Politics

Daughter of Married Gay Couple Who Used Surrogacy Abroad Isn't Citizen, Says U.S. State Department

A decades-old law can be used to discriminate against gay couples who use surrogacy abroad.

James Derek Mize and his husband Jonathan Gregg are both American citizens, but their daughter, born via a surrogate, may not be, at least according to the U.S. State Department.

The New York Times took an in-depth look at this case in a piece that ran in the paper yesterday. While James was born and raised in the U.S, his husband Jonathan was originally born in Britain. That may be enough, according to the State Department, to deny their daughter citizenship.

"We're both Americans; we're married," James told the New York Times. "We just found it really hard to believe that we could have a child that wouldn't be able to be in our country."

According to decades-old immigration law, a child born abroad must have a biological connection to a parent that is a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to receive citizenship upon birth. Children born via surrogacy are determined to be "out of wedlock," according to the Times report," which then requires a more onerous process to qualify for citizenship, such as demonstrating that a biological parent is not only an American citizen, but has spent at least five years in the country.

The intent of the law, which dates back to the 1950s, was to prevent people from claiming, falsely, that they are the children of U.S. parents. But LGBTQ advocates argue this archaic policy is being used intentionally to discriminates against same-sex couples, who often have to rely on donors, IVF and surrogacy in order to have biologically children, and are thus held to a higher standard.

"This is where our life is. This is where our jobs are," James told the Times. "Our daughter can't be here, but she has no one else to care for her."

Read the whole story here.


Gay Dad Life

Netflix Documentary Explores a Gay Chinese-American's Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

"All In My Family," a new short documentary by filmmaker Hao Wu, explores his family's struggle to accept his sexuality and decision to pursue surrogacy in the United States

Filmmaker Hao Wu's latest documentary, released on Netflix this past week, explores his coming out story and his path to becoming a gay dad via surrogacy in the United States. Viewers watch as Wu comes out to his Chinese parents, who are not accepting of his sexual orientation.

As the film's synopsis notes, Wu, the only male descendant in his Chinese family, was "raised with a certain set of expectations - excel at school, get a good job, marry, and have kids." He achieves each of these goals, but as a gay man, he hasn't done so in the way his family had hoped. The film follows Wu brings his husband and children to China to meet his family, many of who are still unaware of his sexual orientation.

"I wanted to show the challenges for gay people of Chinese descent, what kind of cultural and generational barriers and differences they have to negotiate in order to build a family of their own," Wu said in an interview with InkStone.

Watch the moving documentary in full here.


Gay Dad Family Stories

This Surrogate Helped Two Different Gay Couples Realize Their Dreams of Becoming Dads

Shelly Marsh says her daughters are her "life," and wanted to share that love as a surrogate for two different gay couples.

We've shared hundreds, possibly thousands, of stories about GBT men who've become dads through the many different paths to fatherhood. We've thanked the women who've made our dreams come true; we wouldn't be dads without their, in many cases, selfless acts of love. Amongst the courageous birth moms, and our co-parenting counterparts, are the surrogates who carry our children. It's a very personal decision to become a surrogate, but Shelly's choice was simple: if she could help others experience the joys of parenthood, she would.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Gay Dads Featured in Enfamil Commercial

A new ad for Enfamil showcases two gay men talking about their daughter.

The best kind of inclusion is when you're not singled out but instead included right along with everyone else. This kind inclusion inspires others to pursue their own dreams and desires, just like any one else. As part of our popular culture, we know that brands are uniquely suited to inspire us in this way.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Cooking with Kids: An Interview with David Burtka

David Burtka sits down with us to talk about his new book "Life is a Party."

When you're a young couple it's easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

Couple That Met at the Gym Now Spotting Each Other Through Fatherhood

How two real New-Yorkers became two soft-hearted dads

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

Byron and Matthew Slosar, both 41, met ten years ago at one of New York City's Equinox gyms. "I asked him for a spot on the bench press," smiled Byron. The couple were married September 22, 2012.

Surrogacy was always the way Byron and Matthew wanted to become parents. They chose to wait and become dads later in life, until they had established careers and the financial means to pursue their chosen path.

They signed with Circle Surrogacy after interviewing a few agencies. "We immediately connected with their entire staff, particularly Anne Watson who lovingly dealt with my healthy neuroses on the daily for 1.5 years," said Byron. "They definitely personalized the service and helped us understand all 2,000 moving parts." The dads-to-be were also very impressed with how much emotional support they received from Circle.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

Adopting an Older Child Through Foster Care Was the Best Path for These Dads

After learning more about older-child adoption through You Gotta Believe, Mark and Andrew decided it was the best way for them to form their family.

"Hey! I got adopted today! These are my dads, Mark and Andrew!"

Jeremy was 16 years old when he found out his new dads wanted to adopt him.

In late August 2017, husbands Mark and Andrew Mihopulos, 34 and 36 respectively, remember driving out to the east end of Long Island. They knew at the very same moment they were driving, social workers were letting Jeremy know they wanted to adopt him. "We expected Jeremy to be hesitant or feel mixed emotions," shared Mark. "We didn't know how he would feel about having two dads and about having white parents and family, as he is a black young man."

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse