Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How These Gay Dads Prepared for Twins

Marc and Steve, who are expecting twins girls later this year, tell us how they've prepared to grow their family

Guest post by Marc and Steve

As mentioned in our previous blog it was a shock to find out that we will be expecting twins later on this year. It had taken some getting used to idea but now we are counting down the last few months before we can welcome our twin girls into the family.

Both Marc and I knew we always wanted to have more than one child, the main reason for this was so our first (Spencer) always had some company, someone to play with and so he never felt like he was alone. From around the age of three Spencer has been asking about having a sibling, we knew this day would come as inevitably he was going to have friends who had siblings, so at some point he was going to question why he was an only child. We always said we wanted to have as small of an age gap as possible but unfortunately this did not happen for various reasons. Not that it makes that much difference to us now, in fact we believe it has worked out better this way, with Spencer being that little bit older and more independent he can be a lot more involved with the care of his sisters. He is already telling us that he will help us by getting them nappies and wipes.


We have always been honest with Spencer about how he was bought into the world, and he understands that he grew in a friend's tummy until he was ready to come home with us. So this time, we didn't really have to go into that much detail - to him surrogacy is the "normal" way to have a baby. From the moment we matched with our surrogate, we told him that she was going to be the one to help give him a sibling. Our surrogate doesn't live too far from us so we are able to meet up often and it's lovely that we are all able to see the bump grow, and Spencer can bond with the girls before they arrive. We are hoping to feel them kick very soon and I think that will be the moment that makes it very real for Spencer.

Before matching with our surrogate we spent months talking and getting to know each other better before embarking on this journey. One thing we both agreed on straight away was contact after the birth. We always want to remain friends, and for the girls to know our surro and her family. Equally our surrogate wanted that friendship and didn't want to break contact after and it feel more like a business transaction, that is not what surrogacy is about for any of us.

Our surrogate has already been buying the girls gifts, and as soon as they are born and able to leave hospital we plan to go straight to her home so her children and the rest of the family can see them. It's important for them to see what their mother has done and how she has grown not one but two perfect little babies. Besides our surrogate has four older daughters so we will need someone to teach us how to style the twins' hair so we will have many lessons to come on styling.

Only fairly recently we have started the preparation for the twins arrival. Luckily we still have enough bedroom space for when they get older; they can have a bedroom each eventually if they want. Initially we wanted to baby wear and were not going to bother with a pram at all. Realistically I don't think this will be an option, especially in the first few months, so we have got the bugaboo donkey which is a side by side pram. We chose this option so we could see both of them at all times as opposed to the tandem type which didn't suit our needs. The only issue now is doorways. I can see it will be a military operation just to leave the house.

Our house is rammed full of pretty dresses, baby grows, formula, prep machines and sterilizers. I think all we really need now are some car seats and cots then we are ready and it will just be a waiting game.

We have had arguments about who gets the time off with the twins. Both being medical we have stressful, hard jobs so we were both desperately wanting the time off to spend with family. When we had Spencer it was not law for parents through surrogacy to be entitled to any time off, so thankfully the laws have changed now and we are entitled to that benefit. We have decided to share the leave, Marc is going to have the first 4.5 months off and I will take the second half.

Both our families are so excited about the girls arrival. My family in particular as these will be the first girls to be born into my side of the family in 25 years! We have a few names that we are thinking of, but are yet to make a firm decision and won't announce until they are here, but at the moment it's only 11 more weeks to go! So we are going to have to hurry up and decide.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple of 27 Years Learned to Dream Big — and Became Dads to Twins

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Their story together started in 1992, when both men were young students (Jamie was born in 1974, Kenny is just six months older) from similar backgrounds at the same university in Louisiana. A mutual friend introduced them at a cafeteria, and they hit it off.

They hailed from very small and very religious communities that disapproved of homosexuality. Without any positive role models, Jamie and Kenny had internalized those negative views: The way they looked at their own lives, they assumed they would lead lives of ridicule, be unwilling to commit to one partner, would contract HIV and soon after die of AIDS.

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When Jeff, 40, and Freddie, 36, started their journey, they began looking into adoption. Although they both yearned for a biological connection to their future kids, they didn't know much about surrogacy, or if it was a viable option for them. After doing a little more research, they attended a Gay Parents To Be event, sponsored by RMA of Connecticut taking place in Atlanta. "This event was great because it opened our eyes up to the entire surrogacy process," said Freddie. "After the event, we did some additional research on potential agencies and IVF doctors. We ended up narrowing down our search, and landed on Circle Surrogacy as our agency, and RMA-CT for our IVF clinic."

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To twin or not to twin: it's a question every gay dad contemplating surrogacy will have to face at some point.

Gay dads-to-be who are creating embryos for surrogacy have a big decision to make: who will be the bio dad? Some dads would BOTH like to be bio dads, and express an interest in having twins, where one baby is biologically related to each dad. The decision to do a Multiple Embryo Transfer (MET) which would possibly lead to a twin pregnancy is a big one, with much to consider in addition to bringing home two bundles of joy from the hospital.

Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation speaks with gay intended parents every day about the options they have to grow their families, including embarking on a twin journey.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself if you're considering a twin pregnancy:

1. Am I ready for my surrogacy journey to cost more?

With an average singleton surrogacy journey costing anywhere between $110,000 and $120,000 (excluding IVF), intended parents should prepare for additional fees associated with a twin pregnancy. First, your surrogate will be paid additional compensation to carry twins. Second, the maternity expenses are typically twice as high with a twin pregnancy, as high risk OBGYNs are often involved. There can also be risks to the babies with a twin pregnancy. We have found that twins can be born one month early, with roughly half of twins needing to spend time in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit). At Circle, we have seen the average cost in the NICU approach $100,000.

2. Have I spoken to my IVF Doctor?

Your IVF clinic is your best resource for understanding what it means to do a multiple embryo transfer and try and for twins. There are some IVF clinics that will allow any IPs that would like to try for twins to transfer 2 embryos, as long as the IPs and surrogate fully understand the risks. However, other clinics will not transfer 2 embryos unless there's a medical reason. You should consult your IVF doctor.

3. Have I discussed twins with my surrogacy agency?

It's important to discuss a twin pregnancy with your agency who will be supporting you and your surrogate throughout your journey. Circle Surrogacy, for example, would support Intended Parents on a twin journey if they make an informed decision to have a twin pregnancy; and Circle would ensure the Intended Parents fully understood the risks associated with transferring two embryos. Considerations include:

  1. A twin pregnancy provides risks to the surrogate and to the babies.
  2. The maternity expenses are typically twice as high with a twin pregnancy, as high risk OBGYNs may be involved.
  3. There are also risks for the children. On average, we find that twins are born one month early, roughly half of twins end up in the NICU and, in our experience, incurring NICU fees.
  4. Matching Intended Parents who want twins may take longer, as many surrogates are either not medically approved to carry twins or are unwilling.
  5. The overall cost of the journey will be greater as complications often occur, most deliveries are via c-section and surrogates often end up on bedrest.

4. Am I ready to care for two babies?

Caring for one baby can feel overwhelming at first, so caring for TWO babies (double the feedings and diapers!) may require additional help and support. You should be prepared to speak to your IVF clinic and agency about your plan for caring for twins once they arrive.

5. Am I open to hearing about doing a 'dual journey' instead of a twin pregnancy?

An option to doing a twin pregnancy is doing what is called a dual journey: when two surrogates are pregnant at the same time with singletons with staggered due dates. Scott Buckley, VP of Client Services at Circle Surrogacy, recommends dual journeys – or sibling journeys – as options to a twin pregnancy: "With a dual journey or sibling journey, there are fewer expenses because there are fewer risks with singleton pregnancies and births. Intended Parents will receive a discount on agency fees for a second journey. Plus, when parents decide to do a sibling journey and work with the same surrogate, their discount is doubled. Essentially, you grow your family with two babies without the risk of a multiples pregnancy."

If you're considering growing your family with twins, the first step is to talk with your IVF clinic, and see what your doctor recommends. From there, speaking with your surrogacy agency will help you understand what a twin pregnancy means for costs and fees, as well as for matching times and surrogate availability. There are a few options to have two bio dads in your family, you just need to find the one that works best for you.

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