Become a Gay Dad

Meeting Your Surrogate for the First Time? Essential Questions Gay Men Should Ask

After your surrogacy agency “matches" you with a gestational carrier, you'll be invited to have a conversation with one another to make sure the fit is right prior to entering a contract. It'll be important for prospective fathers to explore several questions with their potential surrogate during these visit. Here's some questions to get the ball rolling:

#1 What made her want to be a gestational carrier? Women who make the complicated yet impactful decision to become a gestational carrier often have touching and surprising motivations for wanting to help others start their family. For instance, many gestational carriers profess a desire help gay couples in particular start their families. Regardless of her unique motives, uncovering what has led your potential gestational carrier to take this major step in her life is a good place to start your conversation.

#2 How does her family feel about her decision to become a gestational carrier? All gestational carriers must have already carried a child to term, so many are actively raising their own families. Depending on how much contact you choose to have with your gestational carrier following the birth, your families may become intertwined for some time to come. While your agency should have already interviewed your gestational carrier's husband or partner, if she has one, it is still a good idea to discuss their feelings towards her decision to serve as a surrogate.

#3 How do your gestational carrier and her family feel about the LGBTQ community? Prior to matching you, your surrogacy agency should have already ensured that your gestational carrier and her family are LGBTQ-friendly. Still, it can be helpful to raise the subject with your gestational carrier in a non-threatening way, to hear for yourself her perspective on the idea of helping gay men become dads.

#4 How much involvement on your part is your gestational carrier comfortable with during the pregnancy? Particularly if you and your gestational carrier live in close proximity, you and/or your partner may wish to be as deeply engaged throughout your surrogacy journey as possible. If that is the case, you should speak with your gestational carrier about her comfort level with having you and/or your partner in the room during doctor's visits. Ideally, she will be quite open to your involvement throughout the process, but you should also be prepared to respect her need for privacy as much as possible.

#5 How much contact will you want to maintain with your gestational carrier and her family following the birth of the child? Many gay dads choose to maintain contact with their gestational carriers following the birth of their child in some form, but the level of that involvement can vary widely. Some choose to stay intimately involved in each other's lives, and might even choose to repeat a second surrogacy journey together years later. Others, meanwhile, may choose to limit contact to sending an occasional photo via email, or interacting online. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and the outcome may evolve organically. But it is important to know your own preferences for the type and frequency of contact, as well as the preferences of your gestational carrier.

#6 How does your gestational carrier feel about the possibilities of multiples? Often, gay men may wish to transfer more than one embryo during an IVF procedure. Doing so allows gay men to each transfer an embryo to which they contributed DNA, and raises the odds that at least one will lead to a successful pregnancy. While you may be excited about the prospect of having twins, carrying multiples can complicate a pregnancy. It will be important to discuss this eventuality with your gestational carrier prior to entering into a contact. You may not force her to make any decision that impacts her body in a way she is not comfortable with. If she only wishes to transfer one embryo at a time, then, you must respect her wishes, or find another gestational carrier who is comfortable with the idea of carrying twins to term.

#7 How does your gestational carrier feel about “reducing"? Other gay men may be less excited about the idea of having multiple children within the same pregnancy, but want to transfer more than one embryo during IVF to increase the odds that one will lead to a successful pregnancy. However, as discussed above, transferring multiple embryos will also increase the likelihood of having twins, triples, or more. Carrying multiples can increase health risks during a pregnancy, particularly if it involves more than three fetuses. Your doctor will likely raise the prospect of “reducing" or aborting one or more of the fetuses in this event. It will be important to discuss this eventuality with your gestational carrier, and ascertain her feelings towards the procedure, prior to entering into a contract.

#8 How does your gestational carrier feel about abortion generally? Typically, your agency will pre-screen you and your gestational carrier on the question of abortion well before you ever “match." Still, it's a good idea to discuss the possibility with her, and under which circumstances you both feel an abortion is warranted or not.

For more on surrogacy, check out:

Surrogacy Counseling for Gay Men: What to Expect

Thinking of Asking Your Sister to Serve as Your Egg Donor?

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost Gay Men?

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Become a Gay Dad

Jewish Agency to Help Cover the Costs of Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."

Gay Dad Life

Why Date Night Is So Important

When you're a parent, time alone with your significant other isn't a luxury — it's a necessity.

Even before the morning sunlight — and my eyelids — have lifted, I'm reminded that I'm somebody's father. It's usually around 5:40am when my 8-year old son Maxwell pokes his head into our room shouting "cock-a-doodle-doo" at the top of his lungs. He's usually wearing an adorably comfy onesie, a look he thankfully refuses to retire. His rooster call is followed up with strict demands in quick succession:

"Warm milk!"

"Turn on the lights."

"Where's your phone?"

"Put on Nick Jr."

"Feed me yogurt while I play Fortnite!" (Note: we don't… well… anymore.)

This Groundhog Day routine follows us as we pick out his clothes for the day —"Comfy camouflage t-shirt and sweat pants!" he insists (shoot me now). We then make him breakfast, prepare his packed lunch and then make sure his completed homework is in his schoolbag.

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Change the World

In a First, Scottish Gay Male Couple Offered IVF Treatment by NHS

But the government stressed gay couples will still be responsible for finding a surrogate

In a first, the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain is offering to fund an IVF treatment for two gay men forming their family via surrogacy. Previously, the NHS had refused to do so because of a ban on funding such treatment when a surrogate is involved. Two years ago, the Scottish government changed the law to allow any couple to be eligible. There have been no other cases of IVF treatment for people in England and Wales.

According to the Daily Mail, the Scottish couple (who requested anonymity) revealed they had been granted NHS treatment when they posted an appeal online for an egg donor.

"Our NHS clinic don't have any anonymous egg donors, they advised us we would need to find a known egg donor," the posting said. "Any suggestions how to go about it?"

After a friend voiced surprise that the NHS was offering gay couples treatment, one of the men replied, "it's a new service they offer in Scotland… we only found out [about it] when the GP referred us."

The move was welcomed by LGBTQ groups in England. Stonewall said: 'We welcome any move that ensures lesbian, gay, bi and trans people have fair and equal access to fertility treatment.'

When the Daily Mail reached out to the Scottish government for comment, they confirm fertility treatment for same-sex male couples using a surrogate. But they also emphasized gay men would be responsible for finding their own surrogate.

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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Politics

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.


Fatherhood, the gay way

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