A Financial Assistance Program Puts Surrogacy Within Reach for This Single Gay School Teacher

Gonzalo Curbelo shares how he decided to become a single dad and how an assistance program run by Men Having Babies helped put that dream within reach.

"I have come to realize that although it would seem ideal to start a family with a special someone, it does not mean you can't do it on your own," says single gay dad-to-be Gonzalo Curbelo. Gonzalo, a teacher living in Tampa, Florida, started his surrogacy journey over seven years ago when he began to save for surrogacy. Now, potentially only two months away from getting pregnant, Gonzalo is sharing how he decided to become a single dad and how an organization run by gay dads is helping him fulfill his dreams.

Gonzalo was born in Uruguay, but was raised in New York, the youngest of three boys. Growing up, Gonzalo struggled with his sexuality and was unsure if children would ever be part of his future. "Coming out was difficult for me and I remember that growing up gay was not easy either," recalled Gonzalo. As he got older, he was still very apprehensive about being gay and having children. It wasn't until he was in a long-term relationship that he started to feel differently. "I began seeing myself as a gay dad," said Gonzalo.

For gay men, becoming dads can be challenging, even without considering the biological and social constraints, and let alone going that path alone. When Gonzalo began to seriously consider surrogacy, he started by phoning and chatting with agencies. It soon became clear that surrogacy was potentially out of reach for this school teacher.

During one of his calls to an agency, they encouraged Gonzalo to look at the Men Having Babies' Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP). GPAP helps put surrogacy within reach for many gay men whose dream it is to become a biological father but don't have the financial means. "At first I was apprehensive about a non-profit agency that would be able to help me," shared Gonzalo, "but I was starting to feel distraught after realizing that the road to fatherhood would be almost impossible – [it was] too expensive." Not ready to forfeit his dream of becoming a dad, Gonzalo decided to apply.

Gonzalo initially qualified for GPAP 1 – the Journey Booster – which is the first stage providing prospective parents with discounted or donated services from IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal service providers. However, even with these discounted services, Gonzalo still found it to be a financial struggle. He decided to apply for GPAP II – Direct Assistance – which, if selected, would provide cash grants and free services. Gonzalo applied for two years, until he qualified. Since then, Men Having Babies and the GPAP have made his journey possible. "[They] helped me with everything," said Gonzalo. "Through them that I was paired with a surrogacy agency and IVF specialists." For Gonzalo, the journey is still very expensive but GPAP has made it feasible and allowed him to reach a point in his path to fatherhood that at one time, he did not think possible.

Gonazlo is currently nearing the end of all the paperwork and is getting ready for the first embryo transfer. "I have finished all my testing with the fertility clinic in Texas, flew out to meet the surrogate, and I'm currently waiting on legal paperwork to get finalized," shared Gonzalo. It's been a long process, explained Gonzalo, but it is all working out.

Gonzalo with his surrogate

Although Gonzalo had some initial apprehension of being a single dad, he's focusing on all the things he's looking forward to with fatherhood. "There are so many things!" said Gonzalo. "I have been a teacher for the last thirteen-plus years and have helped shape the lives of so many little ones. Now, I am most excited about being able to have my own child and to see them grow and to offer all of my love to them."

Becoming a father is not the only new and exciting chapter in his life: in August, Gonzalo is relocating to Eastern Europe, to teach at an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. With family around the world and in Europe, Gonzalo saw this opportunity as a chance to raise his child as a caring world citizen. "I am looking forward to seeing the world with my child," said Gonzalo, "and having the experience of living in different countries and learning different languages."

Several years ago, Gonzalo didn't know if fatherhood was in his reach. After he began researching surrogacy as a single gay dad, it only seemed further away. But with the help of the Men Having Babies' Gay Parenting Assistance Program, Gonzalo is about to start his next chapter: fatherhood. And he has a message to other gay men out there, single and coupled: "No matter how difficult or impossible the journey may seem, you can do it," said Gonzalo. "There were times where I was discouraged because of financial reasons … [but] there is a lot of support out there. Just be patient and do your due diligence to get the help and guidance you need … it will all be worth it in the end!"


Find out more about Men Having Babies (MHB) and their fantastic Gay Parenting Assistance Program by attending their next event in Fort Lauderdale on June 9-10. They're excited to hold a conference for gay parents from both the USA and Latin America. Join them to hear practical and personal peer advice and opportunities to meet a wide range of leading providers from the USA and Canada.

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Daughter of Married Gay Couple Who Used Surrogacy Abroad Isn't Citizen, Says U.S. State Department

A decades-old law can be used to discriminate against gay couples who use surrogacy abroad.

James Derek Mize and his husband Jonathan Gregg are both American citizens, but their daughter, born via a surrogate, may not be, at least according to the U.S. State Department.

The New York Times took an in-depth look at this case in a piece that ran in the paper yesterday. While James was born and raised in the U.S, his husband Jonathan was originally born in Britain. That may be enough, according to the State Department, to deny their daughter citizenship.

"We're both Americans; we're married," James told the New York Times. "We just found it really hard to believe that we could have a child that wouldn't be able to be in our country."

According to decades-old immigration law, a child born abroad must have a biological connection to a parent that is a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to receive citizenship upon birth. Children born via surrogacy are determined to be "out of wedlock," according to the Times report," which then requires a more onerous process to qualify for citizenship, such as demonstrating that a biological parent is not only an American citizen, but has spent at least five years in the country.

The intent of the law, which dates back to the 1950s, was to prevent people from claiming, falsely, that they are the children of U.S. parents. But LGBTQ advocates argue this archaic policy is being used intentionally to discriminates against same-sex couples, who often have to rely on donors, IVF and surrogacy in order to have biologically children, and are thus held to a higher standard.

"This is where our life is. This is where our jobs are," James told the Times. "Our daughter can't be here, but she has no one else to care for her."

Read the whole story here.

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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.

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This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

Byron and Matthew Slosar, both 41, met ten years ago at one of New York City's Equinox gyms. "I asked him for a spot on the bench press," smiled Byron. The couple were married September 22, 2012.

Surrogacy was always the way Byron and Matthew wanted to become parents. They chose to wait and become dads later in life, until they had established careers and the financial means to pursue their chosen path.

They signed with Circle Surrogacy after interviewing a few agencies. "We immediately connected with their entire staff, particularly Anne Watson who lovingly dealt with my healthy neuroses on the daily for 1.5 years," said Byron. "They definitely personalized the service and helped us understand all 2,000 moving parts." The dads-to-be were also very impressed with how much emotional support they received from Circle.

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Adopting an Older Child Through Foster Care Was the Best Path for These Dads

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.

"Hey! I got adopted today! These are my dads, Mark and Andrew!"

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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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