Personal Essays by Gay Dads

This Guy's "Annoying Phase" Is All Of Us the Day We Become Dads

With little to do but wait once their surrogate's water broke, Grant entered what his husband lovingly refers to as his "annoying phase."

It was 3:09am on February 7th when my phone rang. This, in and of itself, was strange as my phone is always on silent. But, for some reason, earlier that night I decided that I needed to change my phone settings to make sure the phone rang just in case our surrogate called. It was a week before our scheduled C-section and our doctor gave us no reason to think we would be welcoming our baby any earlier than the previously scheduled date.

"I think my water broke. No wait, it definitely broke," our surrogate tells me.

"Your water broke?" I replied helpfully. "Should we head to the hospital?"

"Um, yeah. Get in the car and drive. I'll meet you at the hospital."


As soon as he heard "water broke," Miguel launched out of bed. We are showered and ready to go in less than 10 minutes. After dropping our dog off at my mom's house in the dead of night, we embarked on the three hour drive to our surrogate's local hospital. The adrenaline was pumping and I remember listening to Kelly Clarkson the entire way there. It felt fake. I hadn't even packed up my office yet, the nursery wasn't totally ready, and we hadn't baked cookies for the nurses yet, but our baby wasn't waiting any longer.

We arrived at the hospital just before 7:00am, took the elevator to the third floor and rushed to find our surrogate in the maternity ward. She had already been admitted and was surrounded by nurses checking her blood pressure, baby's heart rate and completing other diagnostic tests to ensure neither was in any distress. We were then visited by the on-call doctor who let us know that our baby would be born today, likely within the hour. My heart raced as I entered into a phase that my husband would describe as "being annoying." I was giddy, terrified, and excited at the same time. When the nurses brought in our scrubs, I did a fashion show (though I think I was the only one paying attention to my sweet catwalk moves).

At 9:30am, we met with the surgical team who would take us through the birthing plan and surgery. The anesthesiologist was determining the pain management plan with our surrogate while we listened intently. Everything was set and it was go time.

We entered the operating room once our surrogate had been prepped. We were relegated to a corner to the left of her head featuring two metal stools. Not exactly front row seats, but we were just thankful to be in the room to witness the birth of our child.

It turned out that I couldn't take a video as it is a surgical procedure (I tried anyway until I got in trouble), but I took as many photos as possible. We talked to our surrogate the whole time to make sure she was comfortable while also sneaking peeks of the surgery over the sheet (thank God for my giraffe-like neck).

It happened fast. Within 20 minutes, the surgical team were making the incision into the uterus and prying it open large enough to get baby out. Everything appeared to go into slow motion as the doctor put his hands into the uterus and lifted our child out into the world. I can't even describe the emotions that were swirling through my head. While I know it's not medically possible, I felt like my heart stopped beating for at least a minute while I watched in disbelief. I listened for the crying. After what felt like hours (it was likely closer to 10 seconds) we heard our baby scream and I couldn't have been happier. The tears started to flow as the doctor brought our child around the sheet for us to get a closer look. I went into full-on tourist mode taking as many photos as possible while also trying to "be in the moment." He was perfect.

They brought him over to our little corner where Miguel did skin-to-skin right away. We smiled through our tears as we stared at this beautiful child. Our child. We were in love.

We stayed in the O.R. with our baby while they began stitching up our surrogate. We were overcome with feelings of gratitude. To the doctors, nurses, our surrogate - I probably thanked just about everyone I saw for the next hour.

We returned to the birthing room when I took over skin-to-skin duties. I am holding him. I am laughing and crying simultaneously. It is surreal. I am staring at him. Blonde hair, long legs and severely inflamed testicles (which we were assured was TOTALLY normal). This is him, our child. We called him Jasper.

Let the adventure begin.

Follow our parenting journey @DaddyPapaAndJasper on Instagram

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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

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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.

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Dr. Kim Bergman's new book "Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Reproduction" breaks down surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation.

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If you are reading this article, chances are good that you are thinking about building a family. You've been dreaming about your baby, first smiles and first steps, family vacations and holidays spent together. As with any dream, you might need some help to fulfill it. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, and a changing legal climate assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for the LGBTQI community can help make your dream a reality.

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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.

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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."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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After a painful failed adoption that brought these gay dads to the brink of realizing their dream of fatherhood, Paul "went numb" for several months before trying, and succeeding, again

In the fall of 2010, what was suppose to be a non-committal daytime date in Seattle, ended up being 3 days of sharing life experiences, unpacking emotional luggage and the moment I realized I had met my future husband. Just under four years later, we were saying "I Do", and became Paul and Jamie Trudel-Payne.

Jamie, a devilishly handsome All-American freelance writer, came from a tightly woven, kind and virtuous household. While I, Paul, a cute (ish) bi-racial (Mexican/Caucasian) small business owner, came from a somewhat intrusive, rambunctious and very large Hispanic family. The desire and support received from both families was immense and just six months after being married, we began the adoption process.

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