Gay Dad Life

Finally Fathers After Four Failed Rounds of IVF

Names: Michael Smith and Paul Coghlan

Location: Sydney, Australia

Relationship Status: 

Married. We've been together 16 years and met in a bar in Sydney. We were married in New York (Australia does not allow same-sex marriage) on March 28, 2012.

Occupations: Paul works for a TV network in communications, and Michael works for a wealth management firm as a manager of a product management team.

How Many Kids Do You Have? One son who is 3, turning 4 in September

What's His Name? Levi

What Does He Call You? Michael is called "Daddy." Paul is called "Dadda."

Tell us about your path to parenthood. We chose surrogacy as there is limited opportunity for adoption in Australia. We also wanted to be able to have a relationship with our surrogate and to be able to share the journey with our son. We've been lucky enough to keep in contact with our surrogate and have a couple of trips together despite her being based in the US.

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We had four failed IVF transfers so a lot of heartache, but it was all worth it once Levi was born.

Was there ever a moment that you or Paul experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? Probably, just around the failed attempts and having to create more embryos. The uncertainty of success and the ongoing costs were challenging. But we always believed if we kept going we would be successful, so we tried to stay positive.

What have you learned about being a dad? Patience! And you can live on a lot less sleep than you think! Also, learn to let go of some things... like a tidy house! We've learned how important it is to role model behaviors when we see the influence our actions have on Levi. We're shaping a life so it makes you want to be a better person for his sake.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Everyone says it but it's true---being a parent is both the hardest thing you will do but also the most rewarding. I wouldn't change a thing.


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