How to Make Sure Your Surrogate Is a Good Match? Date for a Year, Like These Gay Dads
For a year after matching with her, these dads continuously met with their future surrogate to ensure they were a good match.
Terry and Paul met via an online dating site in 2012.
"As a couple, we just clicked!" said Terry. "We both had never been in a proper relationship and we just knew this was special."
Over the first few months of dating, the men didn't shy away from talking about commitment; marriage came up regularly. Both wanted to be dads and to them, marriage seemed like the first obvious step.
Paul (left) and Terry on their wedding day
They were married in 2013, and bought their first family home in 2014. At that point, their family was made up of Terry, Paul and their two Chihuahuas. But their family didn't feel complete.
"We wanted a child," said Paul. "We wanted what our families had."
After researching their options, they decided upon surrogacy. In the U.K. only altruistic surrogacy is legal, and the surrogate cannot be compensated for more than medical expenses. The dads-to-be made it a priority to gain a good understanding of the emotional, legal and financial implications of surrogacy to ensure their path to fatherhood was a success.
Terry and Paul found an agency they felt confident working with, and in 2014, that agency matched them with a potential surrogate. For the next year, the dads-to-be continuously met with their future surrogate to ensure they were a good match. The spent a year of getting to know one another before all three decided to move forward and begin their journey together. In 2015, their surrogate became pregnant.
Paul feeding baby Theo
For the next 9 months, Terry and Paul attended every doctor's appointment, every scan, every consultancy appointment, and continued to spend time with their surrogate and her family. She sent them a weekly bump picture throughout the pregnancy and filmed regular videos so they could share in the experience.
At 37 weeks, she went into labor and their son Theo was born weighing 6 lbs. 4 ounces.
"I can remember sitting side by side with my husband and holding our son," recalled Terry, "tears of joy running off our happy faces! The feeling was amazing, it was truly magical."
When they arrived home from the hospital, their friends and family celebrated the new family, welcoming them home and meeting little Theo for the very first time.
Terry and Theo
"Everyone was so happy to see us and to meet our son," said Paul. "The love we had around us was phenomenal; we are truly blessed and extremely lucky."
After 6 weeks, the dads applied for a parental order that would transfer the rights of the surrogate over to both parents, Terry and Paul. The process was a celebration, and the dads shared that it was an amazing feeling when Theo legally became theirs.
"We took photos with the judge!" said Terry.
"We will never forget the day Theo's birth certificate came through the post with both mine and my husband's name on it," said Paul. "Yes, we did frame it."
And as the days go by Terry and Paul are loving being dads. Each day they learn something new from Theo, and they wouldn't trade those lessons for anything.