Gay Dad Life

In the U.K.? Join These Dads at Events Supporting LGBTQ Parents!

The dads behind the blog TwoDads.U.K are ramping up their support of other LGBTQ parents. Check out these events they're a part of!

What a couple of years it's been for us! When our daughter Talulah was born via UK surrogacy back in October 2016, we decided to take to Instagram and Facebook to document the parental highs and lows. Little did we expect for it to be where it is now. We always had the ambition to help other intended fathers understand more about surrogacy, and we also had the added driver to do our best to influence others – help open some of the closed minds with regards to same-sex parenting.

Here we are now, pregnant again with our son which we revealed Live on Facebook! We're due in August, we're now writing several blogs, social media influencers and launching a new business focusing on our main mission to support others and being advocates for UK surrogacy. It's no wonder we're shattered!

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

How Long Does a Surrogacy Journey Take?

From the minute you sign with a surrogacy agency, how long will it take until you have a baby in your arms?

You've been waiting a long time to become a gay dad. You've done your research, and decided that surrogacy is the best fit for you. You're excited to get started, and even more excited at the prospect of the arrival of your little one.

But exactly how long is it going to take from the minute you sign on, until you have your baby in your arms?

On average, a surrogacy journey – from start to finish – can average between 16-21 months.

And while that sounds like a long time, remember that 9 months of that is your surrogate's pregnancy!

To help you better understand how long a surrogacy journey takes to complete, it's helpful to understand the different milestones along the way. Below is a general surrogacy process timeline from Circle Surrogacy. Remember, every surrogacy journey is unique, so the exact timing of your journey may be different than these estimates.

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Change the World

Surrogate Pens Powerful Op-Ed, Urging New York Legislators to Legalize the Practice

Victoria Ashton says she was "fully in control of her body" while serving as a surrogate for two New York families.

In an essay for Gay City News, Victoria Ashton, who has serves as a gestational surrogate for two New York-based families, powerfully defended her decision to help others form their family, and urged legislator to enact the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) to legalize the practice in New York State.

She says, for her, the decision to become a surrogate was "easy." After she had her own two children, and her family felt complete, Victoria says she "still felt this nagging desire to bring more children into this world. I loved being pregnant and both of my pregnancies were easy and textbook. But since I thought the only way to be pregnant again was to have another child of my own, I tried to push it aside and move on, because at the time two children was the perfect fit for us."

So she began to educate herself and research the process for becoming a gestational surrogate. "I understood the commitment, I understood the process, I understood the risk — but my overwhelming desire to help someone in need by giving them life is a reward that tops it all. Somewhere out in the world another family or couple deserves to be just as happy as I am. A man or woman deserves to be called Mommy and Daddy, if they wish. They deserve to experience firsts. They deserve unconditional love."

Victoria also sought to clear up misconceptions that some may have about the role and rights of a surrogate throughout the process, saying she had "full control over" her body throughout the process. "I made decisions about my own body and my own health," she wrote. "I felt protected and secure. It was a partnership from day one." But, she noted further, she was lucky to live in a state where surrogate enjoy full protection under the law. "Had those not existed," she wrote, "it would have complicated my own decision."

Currently, those protections don't exist in New York, she pointed out. But the soon could, if the New York State Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) is passed. The bill, Victoria writes, "goes above and beyond in providing the necessary protections that create successful surrogacy partnerships."

Read Victoria's full essay here.

Gay Dad Life

Meet the Surrogate 'Angel' Who Carried Her Own Grandchild for Her Son and His Husband

After several leads didn't pan out, Jensy De Los Santos's mother offered to serve as a surrogate for he and his husband, Junior Guzman.

Jensy De Los Santos, 30, and Junior Guzman, 29, always had a strong desire to have a family. "We always wanted to be parents," said Jensy, "to be able to love, protect and guide our children."

Jensy and Junior met through a mutual friend and knew each other for many years before falling in love three years ago. Jensy recalls the first time the topic of becoming dads was raised: "We were at this hotel in front of the ocean in the Dominican Republic and I told Junior that I always wanted to have children, since I was young, and that I would love to have them with him and build our family together." Junior felt the same way and responded with "Let's do it, baby, I want my future with you."

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Change the World

Virginia Poised to Make Surrogacy Easier for Gay Intended Parents

The bill, which is awaiting the Governor's signature, will make Virginia's surrogacy statute gender neutral, but improvements are still needed.

A bill that would make Virginia's surrogacy statute gender neutral has passed through both chambers of the state's legislature, and is now awaiting Governor Northam's signature. The state's surrogacy law, as currently states, extends only to married heterosexual parents. The proposed change in HB 1979 will erase the words "father" and "mother" from the law.

Currently, Virginia has some of the most arcane restrictions on surrogacy in the country. The changes to modernize the state's surrogacy laws have long been championed by Del. Richard Sullivan, who was inspired to introduce legislation after learning of the legal troubles facing a gay couple, Jay Timmons and Rick Olson, in his district who formed their family in part through surrogacy. After learning that they would be unable to establish their parenting rights as a same-sex couple in Virginia, the couple worked with a surrogate in Wisconsin, where the experiences of gay men was more positive. However, a local judge ruled the couple as "human traffickers" and stripped them of their parental rights.

"To have an activist judge come in and completely ignore the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and judicial precedent was a vivid example of being treated differently," Timmons said in an article in Washington Blade. "No family should have to go through that type of mistreatment by the judicial system or frankly by anyone."

Inspired by their story, Del Sullivan introduced legislation to make it easier for gay couples to gain legal status as parents following a surrogacy journey. Though a vast improvement, however, it does not fix all the problems intended parents in Virginia may face. Couples forming their families via surrogacy are still unable to gain a "pre-birth parentage order," for instance, which allows intended parents to establish legal parenting rights before their surrogate gives birth. As it stands, surrogates have to sign away their rights after the birth of the child. Though unlikely, this could allow surrogate to complicate the process post birth.


Gay Dad Life

Chinese App 'Bluedbaby' Helps Gay Men Navigate Surrogacy in the U.S.

The service, Bluedbaby, started as a dating app for gay Chinese men.

Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran a story about Geng Le, a gay man from China's Hebei province who launched a gay dating app called Blued. Geng became a father with the help of a surrogacy agency in California in March 2017, and is now using his app to help other gay Chinese men start their families, too.

The app was doing well, even prior to using the app for family planning purposes. Bloomberg reports the app had 40 million users and $130 million in venture capital. But he figured many of these users, like him, would be interested in pursuing surrogacy abroad. So he launched Bluedbaby to help others navigate the complicated system.

The article goes into detail on Geng's interesting personal story. Geng was employed as a police officer and married to a woman while he secretly launched his gay dating app. After he was outed, his employed said he could keep his job if he shut down the website. He decided to quit instead, and pursue the app full time as an out gay man. His outing was difficult on he and his parents, who were shocked to learn their son was gay.

With little to lose, he began focusing all of his efforts on Blued, believing demographics were on his side. "We believe that all human beings are alike, so China, with 1.4 billion people, could potentially have 140 million LGBT members," he told Bloomberg. "Hence you have a large enough community to support an entire economy of its own."

Bluedbaby is meant to help Chinese men navigate difficult decisions involved in surrogacy journeys, such as where and how to select an egg donor or surrogate, and help with signing surrogacy contracts. The service isn't cheap, running thousands of dollars on top of the costs associated with a normal surrogacy journey. But he hopes the service will help some Chinese gay men start to fulfill their dreams of starting families.

"If, like me, you're in your 40s and you still haven't married, you still don't have children, how can you face your parents, how can your parents face their friends?" Geng told Bloomberg. "The regret is that your life isn't complete enough. The second regret is that you owe a debt to your parents."

Read the whole article here.

Become a Gay Dad

Jewish Agency to Help Cover the Costs of Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."

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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Fatherhood, the gay way

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