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5 Questions Gay Men Should Ask Themselves Before Starting Surrogacy

Here are five questions gay men should make sure they have the answers to before starting a surrogacy journey

Photo credit: Melissa Bissell Photography

Babies are the best! And growing your family through surrogacy is an amazing experience for everyone involved. There is a tremendous amount of planning, a detailed process and a rollercoaster of emotions that go along with it.

Before you begin your surrogacy journey, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself – and have the answers to! – to help ensure the smoothest journey possible.


#1. Are you prepared to answer some VERY personal questions?

From the wide-eyed "Did you have sex with your surrogate?" to "Is your surrogate the baby's mother?", preparing yourself for the spectrum of questions friends, family and, yes, even strangers, will ask you is no easy task. It's important to share your news that you're building your family through surrogacy, as it's such a monumental journey. It's important to be ready with answers to even the craziest questions. If you're coupled, you and your partner should be on the same page when it comes to how you'll respond when the questions take a turn for the personal.

#2. How and when will you tell your child(ren) their origin story?

You are about to bring two new women into your life, and it's important to think about what your relationship will be with them after your baby's birth, and how you will describe their roles in your life and family. Gay dad Brett shares that he and his husband have always been very open and honest with their son about his origin story. "We have always had a photo of our son's egg donor and surrogate on display in his bedroom so that he could know who they were when he was ready." It's a wonderful story to tell, and it's a good idea to think about how and when you'll share it.

#3. Who will be the bio dad?

There is a whole scientific and medical process about to happen to get you on your way to holding your baby in your arms. Once you select an egg donor, you will need to create your embryos. You'll be asked who will be supplying the biology, so having a plan will help facilitate that process. Will you both create embryos? Will one of you go first if you are planning more than one surrogacy journey? Will you implant both embryos (one biologically each of yours) and see what happens? This decision is a very personal one – and no doubt one you'll be asked about by others! (See question 1 about being asked personal questions!)

#4. Are you ready to have ZERO control?

Zero control may be an exaggeration, but you should prepare to step back as science takes over. One gay couple had a very detailed plan of how they were going to grow their family, how many children, and who would be the bio dad of each of them. As it can happen, science was not onboard with their plan. Instead of both of them being able to be biological dads to their two children, only one was able to do so. This was not how they imagined their journey would be, but they got their beautiful family in the end. Giving up control means accepting the unpredictable. It's also a reason to work with an agency you trust: you always have support.

#5. Have you thought long-term about child care and support after the baby is born?

When they say it takes a village to raise a child, they meant it! During your journey you will most likely be in the moment and planning for the delivery day and the arrival of your baby. But that's just the beginning! Take the time to prepare for your return home, those first few weeks and beyond. Will someone be home with the baby? Are you headed back to work? It's important to have a support system in place, for both you and your baby.

Embarking on a journey to parenthood with your chosen egg donor and your surrogate will be an amazing experience. Surround yourself with a strong support system, an experienced and trustworthy agency like Circle Surrogacy, and be honest with yourself and your partner.

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'Broadway Husbands' Bret and Stephen Learn Some New Surrogacy Lingo In Their Latest Vlog

Enjoy our fourth video in our series that follows Broadway husbands Stephen and Bret on their path to parenthood via surrogacy

In our next vlog with "Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret, the dads-to-be talk about the process of choosing an egg donor and creating embryos.

After learning they'd have to wait for their donor to "cycle twice" before beginning, the guys offered a word of wisdom to future gay men who are interested in surrogacy:

"Just so you know they call it 'bleeds,'" Bret said.

"Yeah they said they're waiting for her 'second bleed,'" Stephen added.

"So if they tell you that, don't be shocked," Bret cautioned. "I guess that's just a phrase that they use medically?"

Bret, a New York actor, and Stephen, a Broadway dancer, make up the dynamic duo behind @BroadwayHusbands. Gays With Kids is extremely excited to have front row seats, as this theater duo vlog about the highs, lows, complications and revelations of their surrogacy journey.

Watch this latest installment of their journey and follow along as we learn about their hopes and their worries, gain insight on their mindset about starting a family, and the factors that helped them choose surrogacy and, ultimately, their fertility clinic, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).

Watch the video:

In this video you'll hear Bret and Stephen discuss:

The process of choosing their egg donor (0:15)

Filling out the egg donor questionnaire (0:29)

Exploring RMACT's egg donor profile database (0:47)

Bret and Stephen discuss the egg donor they selected and what they learned and loved about her (1:00)

The next steps for their egg donor; she has to cycle twice before they can do an egg retrieval (2:10)

Overall thoughts and excitement on the egg donor process (2:45)

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Surrogacy 101 for Gay Men: Learn the Basics With Dr. Ringler

Next up on the Daddy Squared podcast! Yan and Alex talk with a reproductive endocrinologist to get an overview of IVF and surrogacy options for gay men

We turned to Dr. Guy Ringler, Reproductive Endocrinologist at California Fertility Partners to get an updated overview of the IVF and surrogacy options for gay men from a medical point of view. Are you too old to have kids? How to find the right egg donor? Is IVF becoming less expensive? These and other questions are answered in this episode of Daddy Square.

"The cost [of IVF and surrogacy] is actually going up," Dr. Ringler states during the Daddy2 interview. "It's going up because everything gets more expensive, our Petri dishes are more expensive, the technology gets more expensive actually. And there's such a demand for surrogates that the amount that the agencies have to pay the surrogates goes up. So it's gradually increasing. It's not inexpensive, it's something you have to plan for."

"I tell my patients it's somewhere between the cost of a really nice car and a small house in the Midwest."


Dr. Ringler's 5 Steps to Start Your Family

1. Freeze sperm in Los Angeles
Provide a semen sample for freezing and blood for infectious disease and genetic carrier screening.

2. Select Your Egg Donor
Find your ideal donor from a diverse group of candidates.

3. Create Embryos For Freezing
Embryos are cultured to the blastocyst stage and frozen. They can genetically screened prior to freezing if desired.

4. Select Your Surrogate
Choose and meet (in person or via Skype) the surrogate mother that you would like to carry your child.

5. Embryo Transfer
Transfer your embryo(s) into the surrogate. Ten days later is the pregnancy test and the beginning of your surrogacy journey.

Terms you should be familiar with:

IVF - Stands for In Vitro Fertilization. An assisted reproductive technique that is used to treat infertility due to multiple etiologies including tubal disease, male factor, endometriosis and unexpected causes.

PGS Test - Preimplantation Genetic Screening. Testing the embryos to determine if they are genetically normal.

Egg Freezing - a revolutionary technique that provides fertility options to delay pregnancy.

Egg Donation - One of the most important factors effecting the pregnancy rate with IVF is the egg quality which is directly related to the age of the egg provider. IVF using eggs from a young and healthy egg donor provides embryos of optimal quality and pregnancy potential.

About Dr. Guy Ringler

Dr. Ringler graduated with honors from the University of Michigan before attending the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago and completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Pennsylvania. In clinical practice in Los Angeles for over 25 years, he has developed an international reputation for excellence in all aspects of reproductive care, especially third-party reproduction utilizing egg donation and surrogacy. He was one of the world's first physicians to use assisted reproductive technologies to help gay men having children.

Dr. Ringler was awarded a Family Building award from the American Fertility Association for his work, and has been named a Super Doctor by Los Angeles Magazine. He has lectured around the world to help educate members of the LGBT community about family-building treatment options. He continues to work and live in Los Angeles with his husband, architect Mark Rios.

Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Dr. Guy Ringler, Reproductive Endocrinologist at California Fertility Partners
Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here
Articles referred to in this episode:
Where to Start If You're A Gay Couple Wanting to Have Kids (Yan Dekel, Daddy Square blog)
Get Ready for Embryos From Two Men or Two Women (Dr. Guy Ringler, Time)
Men Having Babies:
The 14th Annual NY Men having Babies Surrogacy Seminar & Gay Parenting Expo is coming up November 10-11, 2018
Unsung Heroes: Surrogate Mothers to Same-Sex Couples (Dr. Guy Ringler, The Advocate)
A Strip Mall Gay Bar in Detroit Helped Me Come Out (Dr. Guy Ringler, The Advocate)








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