Gay Dad Life

The Thing About Surrogacy? It's 'Constant Waiting,' Says This Gay Dad

Hours before his twins were born, Ryan Michael Sirois wrote this essay reflecting back on the wonderful and complicated path to becoming a gay dad via surrogacy.

Life truly began, Ryan says, on May 16, 2017, when his twins, Connor and Olivia, were born via surrogacy. Hours before that moment, Ryan wrote the post below. While life now is filled diapers and late night feedings, then his days were filled with the excitement, anxieties, and fears of all dads-to-be.


My twin babies will be born in a matter of days. To know with certainty my entire life is about to change while sitting idly by a phone awaiting the call. The only word is limbo. Mounting anxiety looms because, much like the oncoming of a hurricane, all I can do is prepare and wait. Well I've prepared. Now for the wait. The calm before the storm. The surreal experience of continuing with day-to-day routine; sitting at the office, watching television, eating dinner – all the while hearing winds slowly pick up outside. Whistling through palm fronds and fence boards, clouds fold to grey sheets, a slight chill in the air meets a lingering buzz of intensity.

In a matter of seconds, minutes, days, these two lives will collide with mine. They will look to me and Chris for everything and we will look to each other for everything. Our routine will never exist again, replaced by new modes of operation. The quiet dinner home alone will be something very different. This year-and-a-half long journey with surrogacy will be over and our life will begin as parents, our family will grow and our hearts will expand.

But the waiting.
The knowing.
It's the hardest part.

And the thing about surrogacy is it's constant waiting. Counting of days, of dollars, of new people in and out of your life. Doctors, nurses, egg donors, surrogates, agencies, escrow agents, lawyers. Meeting countless couples currently going through, or who have gone through, the same journey. All the while we try to maintain a level head and open mind as things out of our control fall apart. As dollars are spent faster than we can count, as obstacles are bound to happen, as constant opinions are given, continuous heavy decisions made.

Through all of this you wait.

You wait for the right agency, wait for the right egg donor, wait for a surrogate to appear who everyone feels comfortable with, wait for psychological and physical testing on all, wait for doctor appointments, for fertilization of eggs, to find out if they actually worked, how many survive till day five for transfer, wait for the transfer, to see if the transfer worked and if she is pregnant, wait anxiously to make sure we're in a safe zone to avoid miscarriage, wait to find out if both embryos take and we'll have the twins we hoped for. Then we're finally at a space of waiting like any normal soon-to-be parents – ultrasound appointments, finding out the gender, waiting as week-by-week goes by. That is to say all goes smoothly. Our first embryo transfer failed, we did not have enough fertilized eggs to try again, so we had to start the process all over. An unexpected financial, emotional and mental strain.

But we reminded each other how badly we want these babies. No matter what, we had to keep moving – and we did. We waited another two months for a new egg donor, then continued with the process again. Our surrogate was an incredible woman who stayed strong with us the entire time, enduring countless injections and emotional, physical and mental obstacles along the way. But together we faced those challenges and felt overwhelming joy when we learned she was pregnant.

Ryan and his surrogate at a baby shower

Where any other couple experiences the development of pregnancy together in real time, we get updates from afar. Mostly life remains the same all the while knowing our future children are growing in someone else's womb hundreds of miles away with no tangible proof at our fingertips. We don't experience the kicks, the tummy growth or baby movement, the random food cravings or doctor appointments. We wait for updates over the phone and celebrate mini-milestones like hearing the fetus size because it's all we have. I say this not as a complaint, but as an example of how foreign the pregnancy can be. How our life remains relatively normal as we wait for this massive change to hit. Waiting for the big call that we need to haul ass to Daytona Beach for the birth of our twins. Then two days later come home and – bam – we're parents.

It's all very strange, very exciting and very frustrating. It's one of those things no one could understand unless they've been through it. The emotional rollercoaster of surrogacy simply leads up to the emotional rollercoaster of being parents just like anyone else. But it's an over yearlong marathon to the finish line and the hustle is serious.

Thankfully the end is in sight; or rather the beginning is near. At any moment we will receive a call that Connor and Olivia are ready for their arrival into this world, the waiting game is almost over. For certain we know a C-Section is scheduled for May 24th, but they could very well come on their own time before then. Nine days. Nine days to the final countdown. Home stretch.

And then life begins again.


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Gay Dad Family Stories

One Single Gay Dad's Trailblazing Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

20 years ago, Gene became the first single gay man to work with Circle Surrogacy in order to become a dad — trailblazing a path for many others since.

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

"I think I was pretty naïve, I guess," chuckled Gene, one of the first single gay dads to work with Circle Surrogacy over 19 years ago. "I just had made a decision and went out and did it, and wasn't really thinking about how difficult it might be or what other people thought, being first at doing something."

So how did Gene hear about surrogacy as an option for single gay men? Well, it began with Gene flipping through a bar magazine. He recalls seeing an ad about a woman providing a service to connect gay men with lesbians in platonic co-parenting relationships. While he started down that path, working with the founder, Jennifer, he remembers thinking, "What if I meet someone? What if I want to move? It would create all these complications."

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David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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A Gay Fertility Doctor Opens Up About His Own Path to Parenthood

Parenthood is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, wrote gay fertility doctor Mark Leondires in a recent op-ed for The Advocate

Dr. Mark Leondires, founder of the fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, has helped thousands of LGBTQ people become parents over the years. But in a recent op-ed for The Advocate, he discussed his own path to parenthood as a gay man, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

"Similar to most gay men I struggled with the coming out process," Dr. Leondires wrote. "I strongly desired to be a parent. And as a fertility doctor I knew this was possible. What was enlightening was after we had our first child is that in the eyes of my community, I went from being a gay man or gay professional to being a parent just like most of my straight friends."

Dr. Leondires goes on to say his reasons for opening up about his parenting journey is to offer some perspective LGBTQ people who are considering parenthood. "Once you have a family you will have this common bond with the vast majority of our population and something they can relate to — having children," he wrote. "You are no longer someone living this "special" lifestyle, you are a parent on a shared journey."

Being a parent is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, he continued. "It is also the only job you can't be fired from."

Understanding this commonality helped Dr. Leondires in his coming out process, he said. "I had to be proud of my family because I want them to be proud of our family," he wrote. "It wasn't about me anymore. The reality is that 5-7% of patients identify as LGBTQ+, and there may be a greater likelihood that your child might be LGBTQ+ because you are. Therefore, you need to be proud of who you are and who your family is, establish and maintain this foundation unconditionally."

Read Dr. Leondires entire essay here.

Gay Dad Life

Karamo Brown Co-Writes Children's Book with Son, Jason

The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

When his sons, Jason and Chris, were young, "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown repeated the same saying to them: "You are perfectly designed."

That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

The illustrations, by Anoosha Syed, also make a point of displaying families of a variety of races and sexual orientations throughout the book.

Read more about Karamo's fascinating path to becoming a gay dad here, and then check out the video below that delves deeper into the inspiration behind "You Are Perfectly Designed," available on Amazon.



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"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

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Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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