Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Dad Stuck in Kenya With Twins Born Via Surrogacy

Joseph Tito was overjoyed this past November when he became a dad with the help of a surrogate in Kenya. But thanks to a host of legal complications, he's been stuck there since.

"I've gone to the moon and back for these kids, I'll do anything for them."

On November 30th, Canadian citizen, Joseph Tito, became a dad to twin girls via surrogate in Kenya. It had been a long journey for the family including a relationship breakup as Joseph was contemplating fatherhood, and after he found a somewhat affordable surrogacy agency in India who had opened a clinic in Kenya, he went through four unsuccessful embryo transfers.


But on April 19, 2018, four words via an email notification changed his life: "Test results. Positive. Congrats."

On November 14, Joseph and his mother traveled from Canada to Mombasa, Kenya, where his surrogate gave birth to his twin daughters, Mia and Stella, two weeks later.

The day after his twins were born, new dad Joseph shared his feelings via his Instagram page: "I thought I loved before but nothing compares to this feeling ... It hasn't sunk in yet that I'm a dad."

Sadly that period of unbridled joy was short-lived as the problems began almost immediately.

Mia had a brief bout of illness although thankfully made a full recovery, but then the legal issues began to arise for the new family.

"Everything has been difficult from getting birth certificates to court orders," shared Joseph who is yet to have his name on their twins' birth certificates.

But the real issue came when the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, a 50 minute flight from Mombasa (where Joseph, his mother and his twins were staying), denied issuing his daughters passports. Joseph was shocked!

Joseph was born in Italy to a Canadian mom and then moved to Toronto when he was 6 years old, making him second generation Canadian. Previously, the Immigration Act in Canada allowed for second generation Canadians' children to automatically receive citizenship. But in 2015, the law was amended. Under the new law, second generation Canadian's children do not have automatic citizenship, meaning his children have no status in Canada and have to be sponsored.

To further complicate matters, as neither the biological parents of Joseph's twins - he and the egg donor - are Kenyan citizens, he cannot apply for a Kenyan passport on behalf of his daughters. This means the girls are currently stateless.

When Gays With Kids asked Joseph if he had any indication that he would encounter this issue when bringing the girls home, he said it was a "complete surprise!" Although he had known about the amendment to the law, he says he did his due diligence to ensure it wouldn't be an issue.

"Before I started this journey I contacted the embassy here in Nairobi, sent them my passport and citizenship and they told me everything was okay. Three weeks ago I went again to embassy paying 500 US for their citizenship, passports and urgent passport, I had to book a flight back and everything was okay. Then on Friday morning we fly to Nairobi from Mombasa go to the embassy to get our passports and 3 hours of waiting with crying babies they told me "No, I couldn't get passports and would have to sponsor my kids.'"

Joseph's next steps are to sponsor his daughters - a process that he has already begun the paperwork for - but has been told that it could take from 6-12 months. "I've also applied for a Temporary Resident Visa; if approved by the embassy, they'll issue me a temporary travel document so I can at least go home [to Canada] and wait for sponsorship to come through," explained Joseph. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I'm running out of supplies - formula, etc. - for the babies."

Joseph is working with a lawyer back in Canada, and has many loved ones back at home rooting for him and supporting him from afar. Joseph is also forever grateful to his mother who has been by his side during this entire ordeal. "I don't know what I would do without her."

Through this nightmare, Joseph is trying to stay focused on the reason he's in this legal quagmire: to become a dad. "These two little people are everything to me and I would go through it all 1000 times over just to look into their eyes."

We will be following Joseph's journey closely and wish him and his precious family a speedy trip home to Canada.


**UPDATE: Joseph's twin daughters were granted temporary visas and the entire family are now back in Canada. Everyone is thrilled and relieved to be back home in Toronto and Joseph has begun the process for his twins to become residents of Canada.**

To follow Joseph, visit his Instagram page, and below are some additional news articles that further explain his story and current situation:

Toronto Man Hits Roadblock in Citizenship for Surrogates, City News

This Canadian Man Had Twins via Surrogate in Kenya. Now, He Can't Bring Them Home, Global News

Man Unable to Bring Surrogate Children to Home to Canada, CTV News

Read Joseph's blog post for Gays With Kids just weeks before becoming a single gay dad via surrogacy:

"Why I Pursued Surrogacy as a Single Gay Man"

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Gay Dad Life

Broadway Performer's Surrogacy Journey Briefly Sidetracked โ€” for One Very 'Wicked' Reason

"Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret explain the exciting reasons they had to hit pause on their surrogacy journey โ€” but don't worry, they're back on track!

In the latest video of the Broadway Husbands sharing their path to fatherhood, Stephen and Bret explain their hiatus for the past 4 months. The couple have big news to share including a relocation, a job announcement, and the fact that they're getting ready to restart their journey (which they had to take a brief pause from since September).

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Israeli dads Guy Sadak Shoham and Chai Aviv Shoham were trying to enroll their two-year-old twins in daycare when they were told by a government official that one would need to identify as the "mother" in order to be cleared.

According to Out Magazine, the couple was attempting to apply for financial aid to help pay for the costs of preschool when a government bureaucrat called them to discuss their eligibility.

"I understand that you are both fathers and understand that you both run a shared household, but there is always the one who is more dominant, who is more the mother," the government said, according to an interview on the Israel site Ynet (translated by Out Magazine). "I am just asking for a written statement in your hand which of you is the mother. From the point of view of the work, which works less than the father. Like a normal couple."

The official, apparently, said she was beholden to rules set for in the Ministry of Economy.

"It is mostly sad and a little disturbing," one of the dads told Ynet. "These are concepts that we consider the past. We do not necessarily come up with allegations against this representative, she is ultimately subject to the guidelines and as she said, they are the state. It is also sad that the state's definition of a mother is someone who works less and is at home with the children, and that we must choose which of us meets that definition."

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"The Ministry of Labor and Welfare must sharpen its procedures immediately to prevent recurrence of cases of this kind, as other public organizations have been able to do," he said.

Read more about this story on Out Magazine.

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First Gay Dads Via Surrogacy in the U.K. Separate as One Plans New Family with Daughter's Ex-Boyfriend

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow first became known in the UK for being the first gay couple to become dads via surrogacy.

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow first made headlines in 1999 when they became the first gay couple to become dads via surrogacy in the U.K. They did so again after they announced their separation โ€” and when Barrie revealed he's dating his daughter's bisexual ex-boyfriend, the 25-year-old Scott Hutchinson.

And now the new couple are sending shockwaves through queer media by announcing the two hope to have twins via surrogacy in the near future.

According to Out Magazine, Scott not only dated Barrie's daughter, Saffron, but also worked as his assistant. Despite the age difference and potential for family drama, the pair fell in love. The couple still share a home with Barrie's ex, Tony โ€” and their daughter Saffron.

Barrie told The Sun that the couple also hope to have twin daughters via surrogacy in the near future โ€” and is revealing it now because he doesn't "want there to be any secrets and I want to get any negativity out of the way before our babies arrive." Barrie's ex, Tony, is reportedly onboard with this arrangement โ€” he's even agreed to serve as the future twins' godfather.

Out Magazine further reported that Barrie and Scott each hope to fertilize an egg, and hope to conduct the insemination with their surrogate within the next three weeks. Of course, who are we to judge, assuming all adults involved are consenting and on board with this unconventional turn of events (though comment from the daughter Saffron is notably absent in the interviews). But that didn't stop Out Magazine from ending their reporting with just a wee touch of gay shade... If one of their future daughters "has a cute boyfriend one day," they write. "Who knows!"

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What I'm about to describe to you, is something I am deeply ashamed of in hindsight. I was a jerk, still in a state of shock and confusion, and "in love" with a handsome Brit I'd only spent less than 24 hours with.

I was standing in the Ontario, California airport watching my wife walk with my two daughters to a different gate than mine. They were headed to my parents in the Napa Valley for Thanksgiving. I was headed to spend my Thanksgiving with the Brit in San Francisco. It was less than one month after I had come out of the closet and I was so caught up in my own freedom and new life that I didn't realize until everything went kaput with the Brit on New Year's Eve, that if I was ever going to manage the holidays with dignity and respect for me, my kids, and their Mom, I was going to have to kick myself in the pants and stop acting like a kid in the candy store when it came to men. Ok, nothing wrong with acting that way since I never got to date guys in high school and college because I was raised to believe โ€“ gay no way, was the way. But that's another article all together.

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New Report Details the 'Price of Parenthood' for LGBTQ People

A new report by the Family Equality Council takes a deep dive into the current state of cost for becoming a parent as an LGBTQ person

Parenthood is expensive. But parenthood while queer is still prohibitively costly for so many segments of the LGBTQ community interested in pursuing a family, according to a new repot by the Family Equality Council, titled, "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood."

Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • 29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Regardless of annual household income, 45-53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. Those making less than $25,000 a year are considering becoming parents at very similar rates as those making over $100,000.
  • Data from the Family Building Survey reveals that LGBTQ+ households making over $100,000 annually are considering the full range of paths to parenthood, from surrogacy and private adoption to foster care and IVF. The most popular options under consideration in this income bracket are private adoption (74% are considering), foster care (42%), and IVF or reciprocal IVF (21%). At the other end of the economic spectrum, for LGBTQ+ individuals in households making less than $25,000 annually, the most commonly considered paths to parenthood are intercourse (35% are considering), foster care (30%), and adoption (23%).

Fatherhood, the gay way

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