Change the World

Gay Dads Pen Beautiful Letter Thanking Surrogate and Her Family

"Amazing, beautiful, strong, selfless, caring, incredible, hardworking and one-of-a-kind..."

All of us are dads today because of the women in this world. Whether it be a birth mom who has given us the ultimate gift of parenthood, or an egg donor who is the reason that our child has green eyes. Or the woman who were our surrogates, carrying, nurturing and protecting our children within their wombs, so that we could be the proud dads that we are today.

Jay and Adam are dads through gestational surrogacy. Their close friend Jessica was their surrogate for their eldest son, and then again for their triplets who were born in May this year. It's hard to find the words to express how grateful these dads are for Jessica and her family. But Jay's love letter to his friend does a wonderful job expressing his eternal gratitude.

Here's one dad's love letter to his surrogate and dear friend, Jessica.

"We can't post pictures about our family without posting about the beautiful family who helped us achieve our dreams. Pictured above is our amazing, beautiful, strong, selfless, caring, incredible, hardworking and one-of-a-kind friend Jessica. She was our gestational surrogate for all four of our kids. This sensational woman is the mother of three amazing children, dedicated wife and the best Nurse Practitioner around! She was a friend of ours prior to this whole journey, but now she will always be family! Words can't express how incredible Jessie is. She deserves the world and more. You are such a beautiful person inside and out, and our world is a better place because you are in it!"

"Also pictured is her husband Jason. Now Jason doesn't like social media all that much so I won't go on and on about how amazing he is, but I will say this. It takes a special person to stand back and support Jessie through these past two pregnancies when the babies aren't genetically yours. You sir are the unspoken hero of this whole journey. We are so thankful for all the hard hours you put in making sure Jessie and your kids were ok while this whole crazy thing played out. You deserve more credit than you let yourself take. You are a great man and we love you!"

"And finally they're AMAZING children! I'm not going to mention their names (respectfully), but I am going to say how incredible these guys are. First off, you three are the reason Adam and I wanted to become parents. We saw how much fun you all were and how much love and joy you brought your mommy and daddy and it inspired us to want kids of our own. Second, the way you all have been soooooooooooo supportive of mommy while she carried the babies for Adam and I so beautiful. You all are so smart, fun loving, caring, open minded, adorable and wise beyond your years! We are better parents because of our time spent with you three. We love you all like you were our own kids and always will!"

"Thank you guys. It's so rare to find such incredible people like you are. Adam and I are so lucky that we get to have you guys as our family for the rest of our lives! Love you all more than you'll ever know!"

See the Instagram post below.

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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.

Gay Dad Life

Netflix Documentary Explores a Gay Chinese-American's Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

"All In My Family," a new short documentary by filmmaker Hao Wu, explores his family's struggle to accept his sexuality and decision to pursue surrogacy in the United States

Filmmaker Hao Wu's latest documentary, released on Netflix this past week, explores his coming out story and his path to becoming a gay dad via surrogacy in the United States. Viewers watch as Wu comes out to his Chinese parents, who are not accepting of his sexual orientation.

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.

Gay Dad Family Stories

This Surrogate Helped Two Different Gay Couples Realize Their Dreams of Becoming Dads

Shelly Marsh says her daughters are her "life," and wanted to share that love as a surrogate for two different gay couples.

We've shared hundreds, possibly thousands, of stories about GBT men who've become dads through the many different paths to fatherhood. We've thanked the women who've made our dreams come true; we wouldn't be dads without their, in many cases, selfless acts of love. Amongst the courageous birth moms, and our co-parenting counterparts, are the surrogates who carry our children. It's a very personal decision to become a surrogate, but Shelly's choice was simple: if she could help others experience the joys of parenthood, she would.

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Gay Adoption

5 Ways to Know Your Adoption Agency Is LGBTQ-Friendly

So you're ready to adopt. How do you know your adoption agency won't just discriminate against you as a gay man, but is actively welcoming to LGBTQ people?

You know what is the worst? Adoption agencies who discriminate! So how do you know your agency welcomes you? Check out our list of five immediate ways to know if your agency is LGBTQ affirming.

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Change the World

Gay Dads Featured in Enfamil Commercial

A new ad for Enfamil showcases two gay men talking about their daughter.

The best kind of inclusion is when you're not singled out but instead included right along with everyone else. This kind inclusion inspires others to pursue their own dreams and desires, just like any one else. As part of our popular culture, we know that brands are uniquely suited to inspire us in this way.

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Gay Dad Life

Cooking with Kids: An Interview with David Burtka

David Burtka sits down with us to talk about his new book "Life is a Party."

When you're a young couple it's easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.

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Couple That Met at the Gym Now Spotting Each Other Through Fatherhood

How two real New-Yorkers became two soft-hearted dads

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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