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These Public Servants Afforded Surrogacy with the Help of a Financial Assistance Program for Gay Men

Mario, a social worker and John, a Special Education teacher, never thought they'd be able to afford surrogacy. Then they found the Gay Parenting Assistance Program through Men Having Babies.

For those without the financial means, surrogacy can seem like an unattainable dream. But there is one organization that is offering assistance to make that dream a reality; Men Having Babies offers to ease the monetary burden for those who simply cannot afford surrogacy through the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP).


Mario (left) and John

This program has two stages - GPAP 1 and GPAP 2. GPAP 1 – the Journey Booster – is the first stage providing prospective parents with discounted or donated services from IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal service providers; GPAP II – Direct Assistance – provides cash grants and free services.

One such couple who dream of becoming dads through surrogacy are 27-year-old Mario Manaseri and 28-year-old John Romero. Engaged with a wedding date set for 2020, Mario is a social worker and John is a Special Education teacher although he predominantly teaches math; wonderful jobs that contribute to society and help people on a daily basis, but not employment paths that will give them the financial means for a surrogacy journey. This is where Men Having Babies' GPAP stepped in.

John (left) and Mario with Mario's godson

"There is no bigger dream of ours than to become parents," said John. "When researching different ways to make this a reality, Mario and I quickly realized that we did not have the financial means to afford surrogacy. That is, until we found out about the life-changing agency, Men Having Babies!"

"We are now connected with an IVF Clinic and a surrogacy agency," said Mario. "We have told our families and they are very excited about it!"

"The Gay Parenting Assistance Program is allowing Mario and me to start our very own family," added John, "and there are no words to express how unbelievably grateful we are for this tremendous blessing Men Having Babies has afforded us."

Recently, Mario and John attended Men Having Babies' Pride event in New York. It was a celebration of all those families (and future families) who came to be through the generosity of GPAP II. Many of the dads recounted where they were and how they reacted when they first heard they had been accepted to the program.

"I actually was tearing up..."

"I know when I found out I couldn't pay attention at work that day..."

"I was at work on a Friday morning when I got the email and I was... so happy!"

Men Having Babies is so proud, and rightly so, of GPAP. "It's really the heart of our organization," said the Executive Director and Founder of Men Having Babies, Ron Poole-Dayan, at the event in June this year. "And you being just shows that if you lead with your heart anything is possible."

"It let us have a family," shared another dad at the event, "I don't know how we could be more thankful than we are for that."

Apply for GPAP today.

John and ?

Additional information:

GPAP Stage I applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. We try to stick to a processing time of approximately four weeks once we have all required information (international applications may take longer, depending on our partners and their availability for translation etc.)

GPAP Stage II applications are accepted from July 1 through August 31 of each year. Those who have qualified for Stage I benefits and preliminary meet the criteria are invited to apply for Stage II (stage II is not open to the general public due to the requirements). The processing and evaluation of the Stage II applications takes up to six months, though we try to get applicants an answer before the end of the calendar year if possible. If approved for Stage II, the enrollment process may take an additional 1-2 months.

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Broadway Husbands Talk Eggs, Embryos and Exciting News

The husbands explain what is considered a good egg retrieval.

In their previous video, Broadway Husbands Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna shared that they found their egg donor. In this video, the dads-to-be discuss their embryo creation process. And - spoiler alert - there are now frozen Hanna-Shuford embryos, and the husbands are ready for their next step: finding a gestational carrier.

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This Gay Dad's Search for Reliable Surrogacy Info in Canada Led Him to Share His Own Story

Grant Minkhorst scoured the Internet for reliable info, relevant to Canada, but found "slim pickings."

When my husband and I decided that we wanted to start a family, we scoured the internet for information and resources about gay parenting. As many of you already know, it was "slim pickings," as Grandma would say. I stumbled from one website to the next with little to show for it. When I wanted to learn more about surrogacy specifically, I would repeatedly end up on surrogacy agency websites. While some included relevant information, I noticed large gaps and a countless inconsistencies. Not only that, but many of the agency websites were based in the United States where the surrogacy process differs from that in Canada. The search for a dependable resource for would-be Canadian gay fathers was frustrating and, seemingly, futile.

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"Two Daddies" Are Fighting to Make the U.K.'s Surrogacy Laws Modern and Safe

Surrogacy in the U.K. is bound by a law created in 1985.... and it badly in need of a makeover, say "Two Daddies"

We've had a busy old few months. Talulah recently turned 2 in October, and Katie made the big 14. Life in the Johnson-Ellis household has been far from dull.

Rewind to August and we receive an email asking us to give evidence at one of their "surrogacy evidence sessions," in view of the Surrogacy Law Reform. For those that aren't fully up to speed the UK currently is bound by the 1985 Surrogacy Act, which is in desperate need of a make over to say the least. So there's currently a group of people that come from a varied background - they may be surrogates, Intended Parents (IP's), Lawyers, Clinicians and other surrogacy experts from all corners of the globe. All with one one goal; to hopefully help drive forward and allow the UK Government to review the current laws, challenge them with a view to make the UK a more current and modern environment to create families without risk or challenge.

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Study Finds Two-Thirds of Gay Dads Experienced Stigma in Last Year

The study also found that over half of gay dads have avoided certain social situations in the last year for fear of experiencing stigma.

According to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vast majority of gay men and their children experience some form of stigma. The findings are based on a survey of 732 gay father across 47 states in the United States.

More gay men are becoming fathers each year, and have more options for doing so than ever before: including adoption, foster care, and surrogacy. However as the study's authors write: "Despite legal, medical, and social advances, gay fathers and their children continue to experience stigma and avoid situations because of fear of stigma. Increasing evidence reveals that stigma is associated with reduced well-being of children and adults, including psychiatric symptoms and suicidality"

Almost two-thirds of respondents, or 63.5%, reported experiencing stigma based on being a gay father within the last year. Over half, or 51.2%, said they have avoided situations for fear of stigma, in the past year. Importantly, the study found that fathers living in states with more legal protections for LGBTQ people and families experienced fewer barriers and stigma. Most experiences of stigma (almost 35%) occurred, unsurprisingly, in a religious environment. But another quarter of gay dads said they experienced stigma from a wide variety of other sources, including: family members, neighbors, waiters, service providers, and salespeople

Surprisingly (or perhaps not?) another source of stigma cited by the study originates from other gay men. "Gay men report suspicion and criticism for their decision to be parents from gay friends who have not chosen parenthood." The study also says gay dads often feel "isolation in their parental role."

The study concludes, "Despite growing acceptance of parenting by same-gender adults, barriers and stigma persist. States' legal and social protections for lesbian and gay individuals and families appear to be effective in reducing experiences of stigma for gay fathers."

Read the whole study here.

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5 Pics of Ricky Martin In Newborn Baby Bliss

He may be a superstar most of the year, but with a new baby girl at home, Ricky Martin is just a regular ol' dad deep in the throes of newborn baby bliss.

On January 1st, 2019 superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef shared a post via Instagram announcing that they'd welcomed a baby girl named Lucia into their family.

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Gay Dads Featured on Cover of Parents Magazine for First Time

Fitness guru Shaun T. and his husband Scott Blokker are the first gay dads to be featured on the cover of Parents Magazine

I literally never thought I'd see the day. Literally.

Gay fathers on the cover of Parents Magazine! Gay fathers being celebrated in a "main stream" publication about being parents. Gay fathers!

I don't want to get overly dramatic here, but this is a milestone. A massive cultural milestone.

Sure, gay dads have come a long way in being accepted in our popular culture, but to my eye we've never been on the cover of a big popular parenting magazine celebrating our parenting skills. As if we are the norm.

We are now - thanks to Parents Magazine.

This is a particular milestone for me because I have a bit of a history with the magazine and with parenting publications in general. My first job out of grad school was in brand marketing at Johnson's Baby Products where I did indeed run advertising in this particular magazine. Back then though we only featured married, straight couples. There were no other kinds of parents to feature back in the day! And if I'm to be really honest, they were generally white, married, straight couples.

I distinctly remember one photo shoot where I forgot to put a wedding ring on the "husband's" finger and we had to reshoot it. No photoshop back then!

Now admittedly this was before I was a dad and before I was out, but as the years went by and I embraced my own journey as a gay dad, there were no role models or pop culture markers to say that I (and other gay dads) were accepted. There were no Andy Cohens publicly making baby announcements. We were alone on our parenting.

It was hard. There was a constant barrage of straight parenting norms that constantly reminded us that we were different.
Not any more! Being a gay dad, or any dad, is now simply being a parent. A good parent. A loving parent. And we have Parents Magazine to thank for the reminder and endorsement, with hopefully more to come.

And I can't help but think, and actually know, that this kind of normalization will inspire the next generation of gay dads who will simply accept, without hesitation, that fatherhood as a gay man is a real, accepted, and normal option.

Bravo!

Gay Dad Family Stories

Adoption for These Dads Was Like a "Rollercoaster" But Well Worth the Ride

After multiple scam attempts, bizarre leads, and a birth mom's change of heart, Jason and Alex finally became dads.

Photo credit: Dale Stine

Every gay man who pursues fatherhood fights for their right to become a dad. They've had to keep going even when at times it's seemed hopeless. Jason Hunt-Suarez and Alex Suarez's story is no different. They had their hearts set on adoption; overcame multiple scams, some very bizarre leads, a birth mother's change of heart at the 11th hour, their adoption agency going bankrupt, and tens of thousands of dollars lost along the way. But after a long, turbulent, and heart-wrenching three-year-long journey, it was all worth it.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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