Surrogacy for Gay Men

Surrogacy Glossary: Terms Every Gay Dad Needs to Know

Researching surrogacy but feel like it’s all Ancient Greek to you? You’re not alone! The surrogacy process is filled with jargon, so we’ve started this surrogacy glossary of commonly used terms every gay dad should know as he embarks on the surrogacy journey.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Surrogacy Glossary

Altruistic Surrogacy: A type of surrogacy during which the surrogate volunteers to carry a child for intended parents, and receives no compensation. Also known as Compassionate Surrogacy.

Anonymous Egg Donor: A situation where intended parents, and/or any resulting child born through a surrogacy process, are unaware of the identity of an egg donor.

Artificial (or Assisted) Insemination: The medical procedure during which sperm from the intended biological father is inserted into a woman’s cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus. Also known as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): Umbrella term for technologies used to achieve pregnancy in procedures such as Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Surrogacy.

Carrier: A woman who carries a child for separate intended parents. A (gestational) carrier is also sometimes referred to as a Surrogate.

Carrier Contract: See Surrogacy Contract.

Contract: Also known as a Surrogacy Contract or Carrier Contract, this is a legal agreement contract between the intended parents and a surrogate, which will be created through terms negotiated by lawyers. It’s important to research the surrogacy laws in your state to make sure that contracts are always legal or enforceable in a court of law.

Compassionate Surrogacy: A type of surrogacy during which the surrogate volunteers to carry a child for intended parents, and receives no compensation. Also known as Altruistic Surrogacy.

Commercial Surrogacy: See Compensated Surrogacy.

Compensated Surrogacy: Also sometimes known as Commercial Surrogacy, this is a type of surrogacy during which a surrogate is compensated for carrying a child for intended parents. Typically, the terms of a compensated surrogacy are negotiated in a contract. Compensated surrogacy is not legal or enforceable everywhere, so it’s important to research the laws in your state prior to entering into a contract.

Cryopreservation: A process that allows fertilized eggs to be frozen (cryopreserved) for use in later embryo transfers.

Egg Donor: A woman who donates a number of her eggs to intended parents for use in an IVF procedure.

Egg Retrieval: A medical procedure during which eggs are removed from the egg donor for fertilization.

Embryo: The resulting organism after a female egg is fertilized by male sperm. See also Fetus.

Embryo Transfer: The process of transferring a fertilized embryo into a surrogate’s uterus.

Fertilization: The process by which sperm from an intended father fertilizes an egg to produce an embryo.

Fertility Clinic: A medical clinic where medical procedures associated with the surrogacy process are performed.

Fetus: An unborn child, from the eighth week to birth; before the eighth week the term Embryo is used.

Frozen Embryo: A process that allows fertilized eggs to be frozen (cryopreserved) for use in later embryo transfers.

Gestational Carrier: A woman who carries a child for separate intended parents. A (gestational) carrier is also sometimes referred to as a Surrogate.

Gestational Surrogacy: In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries an embryo created with eggs that are not her own but from a donor, for intended parents. Therefore, she is not genetically related to the baby. This is contrasted with Traditional Surrogacy, in which the carrier also serves as the egg donor, and thus is the biological mother of the resulting child.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): is an assisted reproductive technology used to enhance the fertilization phase of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) by injecting a single sperm into a mature egg.

Intended Parent(s): a single person or couple who will become the legal parent of a child born through surrogacy.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): See Artificial (or Assisted) Insemination.

In Vitro Fertilization: More commonly known by its acronym IVF, this is a medical process during which eggs are fertilized by sperm outside of the womb.

IUI or Intrauterine Insemination: See Artificial (or Assisted) Insemination.

IVF: See In Vitro Fertilization.

Known Egg Donor: A situation where intended parents, and potentially any resulting child born through a surrogacy process, are aware of the identity of an egg donor.

Matching: The process intended parents undergo to find a surrogate and/or egg donor.

Multiples: A term that refers to the heightened potential in an IVF procedure of conceiving two or more children when more than one embryo is transferred.

Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction or (MFPR): Also known as Selective Reduction, it is the practice of reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy, say quadruplets, to a twin or singleton pregnancy. Selective reduction is done for both medical and non-medical reasons.

Pre-Birth Order: A court order, obtained prior to the birth of a child, that will place all parental rights and responsibilities with the intended parents, rather than the surrogate. This order typically allows intended parents to place both names on the birth certificate after birth.

Post-Birth Order: A court order, obtained after the birth of a child, that will place all parental rights and responsibilities with the intended parents, rather than the surrogate. Typically, this order will remove the surrogate’s name from the birth certificate and replace it with the name(s) of the intended parents.

Selective reduction: Also known as Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction or (MFPR), it is the practice of reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy, say quadruplets, to a twin or singleton pregnancy. Selective reduction is done for both medical and non-medical reasons.

Surrogacy Contract: Also known as a Carrier Contract, this is a legal agreement contract between the intended parents and a surrogate, which will be created through terms negotiated by lawyers. It’s important to research the surrogacy laws in your state to make sure that contracts are always legal or enforceable in a court of law.

Surrogate: A woman who carries a child for separate intended parents. A surrogate is also sometimes referred to as a (Gestational) Carrier.

Traditional Surrogacy: In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is both the egg donor and carrier of a child for intended intended parents. Therefore, she will be the biological mother of the resulting child. This is contrasted with Gestational Surrogacy, in which the carrier does not serve as the egg donor, and thus will not be the biological mother of the resulting child.

If you're considering adoption, read ourAdoption Glossary: Terms Every Adoptive Gay Dad Needs to Know.”

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Learn How These Dads Used Social Media to Find Their Surrogate

In the latest "Broadway Husbands" vlog, Bret and Stephen discuss the rather unconventional way in which they found their surrogate: through a Facebook group.

In this, the Broadway Husbands' sixth video, Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna discuss the rather unprecedented process they went through to find their surrogate. The lucky couple also chat about winning an "Intended Parents" competition, which granted them the free services of a surrogacy agency who is now helping guide them (and their new surrogate!) on their journey.

In the first video below, get caught up to speed with the dads-to-be. Plus: there's bonus footage! Ever wondered about the financial side of their journey? In the second video, Bret and Stephen talk candidly about how they're managing to afford their dream of fatherhood.

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In our latest guest post by Circle Surrogacy, we learn about some of the benefits gay men should come to expect when working with an agency

You've already made the big decision. You're ready to start your journey as a gay parent, and surrogacy and egg donation is the way you'd like to do it. Now, you have to decide if you want to find a surrogate and egg donor independently, or if you want to work with an agency. While both options have great benefits, this is a monumental decision and you'll want to be sure you're in good hands. Working with an agency can help reduce the stress and uncertainty in a surrogacy journey. The key is to find the right agency for you and your needs.

A surrogacy journey is like a detailed puzzle, the two most important pieces of which are trust and honesty. Trust and honesty are critical in this process and working with an established, flexible, and reputable agency make this process much less intimidating.

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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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Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

"It was very meaningful to us as we were both raised that when you got up the ladder, you threw the ladder back," explained Matthew.

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Terrell and Jarius need your help. Earlier this week they were made aware of an act of discrimination against a male transgender student at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia

"Dex Frier was elected by the student body to run for prom king but is now facing backlash from the school's administration," shared the dads via their Instagram. "The school's Superintendent is forcing Dex to either run as prom queen or not run at all. This is very unjust and does NOT reflect the opinion of the parents nor the students."

Watch their video below:

Dex, 17, who came out identifying as male in his sophomore year, spoke with Gainsville Times about being nominated by the student body. "Frier said he kept his emotions in check while at school, but 'the moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I've never been shown so much support before,' Frier added."

He was later informed by school officials that his name had been withdrawn and he could only run in the prom queen ballot.

Sadly, there have been rival petitions started in support of Dex's nomination being withdrawn, and he's received backlash from those who believe he shouldn't be able to run.

Although Terrell and Jarius do not know Dex personally, they were made aware of what was happening through Jarius co-worker who is a parent at the school. "He's such a brave kid and is standing firm in his beliefs, and we should support him," said Jarius.

These dads are asking all of us to take a minute and sign this petition and share with friends and family, or anyone you think could help.

Gay Dad Life

Gay Single Dads Defend Andy Cohen's Right to Be on Grindr

After the Internet rushed to judge Andy Cohen for signing onto Grindr a couple of weeks after welcoming his newborn son home, fellow single gay dads rushed to his defense.

Last week, we wrote a post about reports that "What What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen had been "spotted" on gay dating app Grindr several weeks after welcoming a newborn into his home. This has some of his followers on social media all worked up"

"Get off Grindr and start being a dad," said one follower who appeared to think single parents must take a vow of celibacy the minute they start changing diapers. "You're sad, that kid has no chance," said another.

Well, suffice it to say that this judgment from people who are presumably not single gay dads of Andy Cohen certainly struck a nerve with our gay dad audience! We received well over 100 comments on this post on Facebook, the vast majority of them coming to Cohen's defense. We caught up with two fellow single gay dads to find out why the story struck a nerve.

"We don't have to live like monks!"

One of the most liked comments on our piece came from Owen Lonzar, who wrote the following:

"I have always been a good single father to my biological son who came to live with me when he was 7 years old. He is now 25 years old and we are very close. I used Grindr and dated while he lived with me. I never had anyone sleep over and he certainly never saw some man he didn't know hanging around my home. Single parents have to date responsibly and with sensitivity to their child but that doesn't mean they have to live like monks!"

We asked Cohen to elaborate a bit more on why the backlash against Cohen bothered him. He had the sense, he said, that much of the criticism against LGBTQ parents comes from gay men without children. "Gay men without kids have a lot to say," he said. "And all of it is ignorant, because they have no idea what it means to actually be a father." He said he was particularly disappointed in gay critics, given our shared history of discrimination. "You would think with all the prejudice we have faced that gay men would be less judgmental themselves," he said.

"Are we supposed to be celibate?"

Another commenter, Josue Sebastian Dones-Figueroa, who is a divorced father of five, questioned what Cohen's critics would prefer him do. "So what, parents are supposed to become celibate because they have kids?" he asked.

We followed up with Josue to ask him to elaborate a bit more: "The idea that just because he is a dad that he would need to stop being a man," he said, questioning why Cohen should have to put his life hold and stop dating, or having sex, just because he's now a father. "If the child is cared for loved and not neglected what is the problem? Life goes on right?"


Gay Dad Life

Internet Conflicted About Advice Given to Closeted Gay Dad in the Guardian

Ok fellow gay dads: if you were the advice columnist at the Guardian, what would you have said?

Recently, in a post titled "I met my girlfriend's parents – and realized I once slept with her father," a man wrote into the advice column at the Guardian with the following predicament:

"Five years ago, I went through a bi phase and used to sleep around with pretty much everyone that came along, including other men. This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me. I recently met her parents and halfway through lunch realised that I had slept with her father. I was going to propose, but when my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter. I'm obviously in love – shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner?"

Pamela Stephenson, the Guardian's columnist, responded as follows:

"I am not sure you could ever have a comfortable future with your new partner. To tell the truth would be to court disaster: a probable break-up, plus the risk of a permanent rift between father and daughter and father and wife. Hiding the truth would lead to toxic secret-keeping that could be equally destructive in the long run. If this whole family was as open-minded and sexually open as you, it might be possible for you to become part of it. However, the father – your former lover – has made it clear that you will not be welcome. Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family and yourself."

Not all commenters agreed with Stephenson's advice.

"Assuming your girlfriend knows that you were bi until falling in love with her and that you slept with everybody in your path [which she deserved to know up front anyway] then you can give HER the option what to do with this bond, rather than leaving the choice to her dad," said one commenter.

Another said, "Walking away without explaining why would be callous and also allow the father to escape the possible consequences of his actions."

It's worth noting that none of these commenters, nor the columnist, are or will ever be gay dads, whose perspective on this bizarre situation may be uniquely valuable. Many gay dads have become fathers while still in the closet. And even those who became dads after coming out can still sympathize with the detrimental impacts of the closet on our lives and those of our families.

So what say you, gay dads, about this man's predicament?

Fatherhood, the gay way

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