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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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Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

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The Most Important Woman a Gay Man Will Ever Date

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy gives some tips and tricks for getting to know your surrogate once matched

It's time to fine tune your dating skills because you're about to enter into the most important courtship you'll encounter. And it all starts with the biggest first date of your life.

And it's with a woman.

This woman is your gestational carrier; the woman who will carry and care for your baby until she delivers this little bundle of joy right into your arms.

Matching with a gestational carrier – or surrogate – is one of the most exciting milestones in your journey to parenthood through surrogacy. However, it can also be the most nerve wracking. Chances are you've seen a profile about your potential surrogate match so you know a little bit about her and her family. But before you commit to this woman, you'll need to meet her first – either in person or via video. And this is one first meeting you've probably never prepared for!

Circle Surrogacy has been matching surrogates and gay dads for almost 25 years. Here are tried and true tips and tricks to getting to know your surrogate...and keeping the relationship alive during pregnancy and after birth!

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Gay Dad Life

"Daddy, Which Belly Did I Come From?"

How do gay dads talk to their kids about the women that helped bring them into the world?

When you tell your kids the story of how they came to be, is the woman who delivered them identified by a face and a name? That's a decision that every gay dad has to make when it comes to having kids through surrogacy or adoption. In this episode we explored two ways of keeping in touch with the birthmother (for adoptive kids) or the gestational surrogate (for IVF and surrogacy) as part of gay dads' children's birth story.Some adoptive parents choose to have an 'open adoption,' where the child gets to meet the birthmother. Parents who go through surrogacy sometimes keep in touch with the surrogate and have their kids meet her when they are old enough.

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Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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Politics

Gay Russian Dads Forced to Flee Moscow

Fearing the Russian government might take their adopted kids into custody because of their sexual orientation, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev fled Moscow

A married couple in Russia, with two adopted children, were just forced the flee their home in Moscow for fear that the authorities would take their children away, according to German news site Deutsche Welle.

Trouble started last month after investigators in Russia opened a criminal inquiry into the proceedings that had allowed the gay couple, Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, to legally adopt the two boys —adoption by LGBTQ people in Russia has typically not been recognized. The government became aware of the adoption proceedings after the gay couple brought their 12-year-old son to the hospital, who was complaining of a stomachache. The boy was fine, but after he mentioned offhand that he was adopted and lived with two fathers, the doctor called the police.

Andrei and Yevgeny granted an interview with Deutsche Welle after escaping Moscow, but on the advice of their lawyers have yet to disclose where they are currently located. Here is a quick recap of that conversation:

"In connection with the 'propaganda of non-traditional values,' the state representatives are accused of having neglected their duty of supervision," Andrei said, when asked to explain on what basis the Russian government might take his children into custody. "This means that lesbian couples could even have their biological children taken away because, through their lifestyle choices, they propagate "certain values."

Yevgeny also explained the events that led to the couple's harrowing escape "I was alone in Moscow at that time. A week after Andrei and the children had left the country, there was a knock on my door, but nobody called 'police, open up.' After half an hour the violent knocking stopped. My parents' home was searched. They were looking for the children and our Danish marriage certificate because we got married in Denmark in 2016. My friends then got me out of the country."

Read the full interview here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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