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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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Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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If you're in San Francisco or the surrounding area, clear your calendar this weekend. Two events are happening simultaneously that are significant for dads-to-be AND surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF). For an outlines of both events, check out below.

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Let me start off by saying that I have always been pro choice and support all laws that allow people to have full reproductive rights including safe and legal abortions. This is a complicated subject and not one that I ever thought I would really have to deal with on a personal level, especially being a gay man.

I remember a very heated discussion on abortion in my biology class back in university. I was young, idealistic and had very strong convictions about abortion. I was debating with a female classmate who was pro life. She felt there was no reason for an abortion ever, not even if raped by your own parent or sibling. I could not really understand her position, then or now. Don't get me wrong, I still don't agree with her, but now that I'm older and wiser, and also a parent, I have come to respect and accept opinions other than mine.

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Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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