Podcast

The Daddy Square Guys Talk with Men Having Babies Founders

In Daddy Square's latest podcast, they shed a light on the history and work of Men Having Babies, on the conference and on the Canadian surrogacy option.

In this special episode, we flew to New York City to experience the annual Men Having Babies Conference. MHB provides unbiased surrogacy parenting advice and support for gay men worldwide. The Conference featured parenting options in the USA and Canada, in-depth panels — including on insurance, budgeting, and teen surrogacy children, and an Expo of surrogacy parenting info. In this episode we shed a light on the history and work of Men Having Babies, on the conference and on the Canadian surrogacy option.


With over 8,500 future and current gay parents worldwide, the international nonprofit Men Having Babies (MHB) is dedicated to providing its members with educational and financial support community forum. The MHB conferences is organized with the help of prominent LGBT parenting organizations, provide unparalleled opportunities to get unbiased information, access a wide range of relevant service providers, and connect with others going through the surrogacy process. Special interest panels for parents, prospects and professionals include topics such as parenting for HIV+ men, speaking to your children about surrogacy and gay parenting, testimonials from teenagers born via surrogacy, and ethical considerations in surrogacy.

This is definitely the recommended first step to take if you are a gay couple considering having biological children. It's definitely your boot-camp to kickstarting your parenting journey.

Episode Interviews

Anthony Brown, Founding Chairman of MHB

Anthony currently is a senior associate at the law firm of Chianese and Reilly Law, P.C., heading its family and estates law division. He has been with MHB since its early days, was appointed as a board member and Secretary of the board of the organization upon its incorporation in July 2012. Anthony has served as Board Chairman since 2013.

In 2010, CNN aired a documentary that followed Anthony and his husband Gary's quest for a family of their own. The documentary is titled 'Gary and Tony Have a Baby.'

Ron Poole-Dayan, Executive Director of MHB

Ron has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategy development both in the USA and internationally. Ron and his husband Gary are among the first same-sex couples in the nation to father children through gestational surrogacy. Their twins, born in 2001, were conceived with the use of eggs donated by Greg's sister, and carried by gestational carrier. Ron has been the MHB program coordinator since 2005 and was appointed as the Executive Director of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012.

Frank Nelson, Board Member

Frank is a high school teacher working with at-risk youth in Toronto, Ontario. Frank and his husband BJ have a son, Milo, who was born in June 2014 via gestational surrogacy. By some twist of fate, their birth photo went viral, and their surrogacy story was shared around the world. BJ gave an interview for Daddy2 in early 2018 in which he described the aftermath of their famous photo, and raising Milo in an interfaith home. Frank and BJ have written a children's book called Milo's Adventures: A Story About Love, about their surrogacy journey.

Frank believes it's important to teach others about surrogacy and to show the world that family is about love.

Nir Keren

Originally from Israel now lives in Toronto with his partner, Bob, Nir Keren brings the awareness of the Canadian surrogacy option to intended parents seeking alternative options. Alongside Dr. Librach and the CReATe Fertility Centre, he has now established 'Babies Come True', a concierge service in Canada that will help and support international intended parents throughout their surrogacy journey.

Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here
Articles referred to in this episode:
Frankie and BJ: Raising A Child In An Interfaith Home (Daddy Squared, January 2018)
You have to know how these gay dads are responding to anti-gay hate campaigns (Gay Star News, June 2016)
BJ and Frankie's page on Gays With Kids (GaysWithKids.com)
Nir Keren speaks about surrogacy in Canada (YouTube, 2018)

For any questions, comments or advise, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@daddysqr.com or on Twitter @yanirdekel

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Podcast

Traveling With Kids

If you feel that after a vacation with the kids YOU need a vacation (or a short stay in a mental institution) – you're not alone!

Traveling with kids is not always easy, sometimes we want them to have so much fun that we forget to have fun ourselves. We brought on Instagram-celebrity traveler and blogger Devon Gibby to share his experience and give us some tips on traveling with kids (and also without!)

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Understanding the Legal Process of Surrogacy for Gay Men

Next up on the Daddy Squared podcast! Yan and Alex talk with a fertility lawyer, Richard Vaughn, about the legal elements of the IVF process

When thinking about having kids via surrogacy, the legal part is just as important as the IVF process itself. Making sure that the agreements with the surrogate and the egg donor are set up properly is a solid base for the whole process itself. And then there are issues like legal guardianship and birth certificates that are also crucial for finishing the process with babies that are completely, legally yours. We turned to Fertility Lawyer and gay dad Richard Vaughn of International Fertility Law Group, to set the record straight about the legal steps that must be taken when having babies through IVF.

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So far in our podcast, we mostly interviewed dads who had their kids either through surrogacy or adoption. But there are other ways in which you can become dads. In this week's episode we look at two ways that are often overlooked: Known Sperm Donor, and Co-Parenting.

David Dodge, managing editor at GaysWithKids.com is a father of two children, who he had together with a lesbian couple. Though he has no legal rights with his daughter and son, they still call him 'papa,' and his parents go to visit their grand children even when he's not around. In our interview, David sheds light on being a Known Sperm Donor.

In our second interview we had Bill Delaney and husband J.R. Parish on a Skype call from San Francisco. They are co-parents of two girls together with a lesbian couple. In the call they discuss this carefully planned (and amazing!) arrangement.



During the episode, we count the ways* in which gay men can currently become dads:
1. Adoption
2. Surrogacy
3. Men who come out of straight partnerships and marriages
4. Sperm Donation (known or unknown donor)
5. Co-parenting

*If you would like to add to or comment on this list please write to us at hello@daddysqr.com

Our Family Coalition

Our Family Coalition (OFC) is based in the Bay Area but is the largest state-wide advocacy organization for LGBT families. They've contributed to varying degrees to everything from marriage equality court cases, to getting LGBT inclusive curriculum added to CA's public school system, to achieving the multi-parent legal recognition that was mentioned on our interview with Bill and J.R.

Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen

Guests: David Dodge GaysWithKids.com, Bill Delaney & J.R. Parish
Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here
Articles referred to in this episode:
Putting the 'Known' in Known Sperm Donor (David Dodge, The New York Times)
The Known Sperm Donor (GaysWithKids.com)
Top Three Benefits of 'Intentional Co-Parenting' for Gay Men & Couples (Bill Delaney, GaysWithKids.com)
11 Steps Gay Men Should Take Before Co-Parenting With a Female Friend (Bill Delaney, GaysWithKids.com)

For any questions, comments or advise, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@daddysqr.com or on Twitter @yanirdekel

J.R. and Bill with their daughters

News

World's First Sperm Bank Opens for HIV Positive Donors

Sperm Positive, started by three non-profits in New Zealand, hopes to end stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood

"Our donors have so much to give," say the promotional materials of a new sperm bank. "But they can't give you HIV."

The new sperm bank, Sperm Positive, launched on World Aids Day this year by three non-profits as a way to fight stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood. For years, scientists have known that those living with an undetectable level of HIV in their blood thanks to antiretroviral treatments can't transmit the virus through sex or childbirth. Yet discrimination and stigma persists.

The sperm bank exists online only, but will connect donors and those seeking donations with fertility banks once a connection is made on their site. Sperm Positive was started by three New Zealand non-profits — Body Positive, the New Zealand Aids Foundation and Positive Women Inc. — who hope the project will help disseminate science-backed education and information about HIV and parenthood.

Already, three HIV positive men have signed up to serve as donors, including Damien Rule-Neal who spoke to the NZ Herald about his reasons for getting involved in the project. "I want people to know life doesn't stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you're on treatment," he told the Herald. "I've experienced a lot of stigma living with HIV, both at work and in my personal life that has come from people being misinformed about the virus."

We applaud the effort all around! To read more about our own efforts to end the stigma surround HIV and parenthood, check out our recent round-up of family profiles, resources, and expert advice that celebrate the experience of gay dads living with HIV here.

Gay Dad Life

Top 10 Reasons You Should Date a Gay Dad

Jay Turner lays out the top 10 reasons you should consider dating a single gay dad

We're gay dads. Many of us were married to women, and for various reasons we eventually found ourselves single and looking for companionship from another man. Life is a little more complicated for us because we have kids. But that shouldn't deter you from seeking a relationship with a gay dad. In fact, there are many reasons why we make better partners than men without children. We are generally more mature, responsible, and emotionally available. We are also better communicators.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should date a gay dad:

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Change the World

'Homosexuality is Wrong' Utah Teacher Tells Boy Who Gave Thanks for His Two Adoptive Dads

The substitute teacher went on to say two men living together is "sinful." She was fired shortly after.

To anyone with a heart, the moment should have done nothing more than bring a tear to the eye. Last week, just before the Thanksgiving break, a substitute teacher in a fifth grade class in Cedar Hills, Utah — just south of Salt Lake City — asked her students to name something they were thankful for this holiday season.

"I'm thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads," said Daniel, one of the boys, when it was his turn.

Rather than grab a tissue to dab her eyes, or ask the classroom to join her in a hearty round of applause to celebrate Daniel finding his forever family, the teacher took it upon herself to impart her personal religious beliefs onto the young boy. "Homosexuality is wrong," the teacher said in front of the class, adding that it was "sinful" for two men to live together.

The teacher, fortunately, was fired from Kelly Services, the substitute staffing company that employed her, quickly after the incident, but the moment is nonetheless receiving widespread attention in the press — no doubt in part because one of the boy's dads, Louis van Amstel of "Dancing With the Stars," posted a video clip to his 76,000 Twitter followers with the title: "Our child was bullied."

"It shouldn't matter if you're gay, straight, bisexual, black and white," he said to the New York Times in a follow up interview. "If you're adopting a child and if that child goes to a public school, that teacher should not share her opinion about what she thinks we do in our private life."

Louis also revealed that the moment may not have come to light were it not for three of his son's classmates, who told the principal about the teacher's bigoted comments. His son, Daniel, didn't want to report the incident for fear of getting the teacher into trouble.

Louis expressed thanks that the staffing company responded as quickly as it did following the incident — and also stressed that his neighbors and community have rallied behind he and his family in the days afterward, offering support. He wanted to dispel stereotypes that Utah, because of its social conservatism and religiosity, was somehow inherently prejudiced.

"It doesn't mean that all of Utah is now bad," he told the Times. "This is one person."

It's also true that this type of prejudice is in no way limited to so-called red states, and incidents like these happen daily. LGBTQ parents and our children are subjected to homophobic and transphobic comments in schools, hospitals, stores, airlines and elsewhere as we simply go about living our lives. These moments so often fly under the radar — many classmates don't have the courage, as they fortunately did in this case, to report wrongdoing. Some administrators are far less responsive than they were here — and most of us don't have 76,000 Twitter followers to help make these moments of homophobia a national story.

All that aside, let's also get back to what should have been nothing more than a heartwarming moment — Daniel, a fifth grade boy, giving thanks to finally being legally adopted into a loving family.

Change the World

9 Stories That Celebrate the Experience of Gay Fathers Living with HIV

This World AIDS Day, we dug into our archives to find 9 stories that bring awareness to and celebrate the experience of gay dads living with HIV

December 1st is World AIDS Day — a day to unite in our collective fight to end the epidemic, remember those we've lost, and bring much needed attention and money to support those who continue to live with HIV and AIDS. For us at Gays With Kids, it's also a time to lift up and celebrate the experiences of fathers, so many of who never thought they'd see the day where they would be able to start families.

Towards that end, we've rounded up nine stories, family features and articles from our archives that celebrate the experience of gay fathers living with HIV — the struggles, triumphs and everything in between.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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