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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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Most Common Question From Gay Men About Surrogacy

We asked our Instagram community some of their top questions about surrogacy — Kristin Marsoli from Circle Surrogacy answers some of the most common!

We turned to our Instagram community to see what burning question gay men had about surrogacy — how much does it cost? how does the process work? How long does it take? We turned to Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy for the answers! Have some other questions you'd like our experts to answer? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com!
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When Seattle husbands Rich and Brian found out they were going to be dads, their initial reaction was panic. "It was so early in the adoption process, we weren't really ready for anything," remembered Brian. "We hadn't read any books, we didn't have a crib, we had nothing... we were going to be dads and the baby was going to be here in a week!"

"I didn't really think about being a parent," added Rich, "and more what do we needed to do logistically, and how we were going to make it all work."

The dads adopted Emerson from birth and raising a girl has taught the dads a lot; they are her biggest advocates. The dads are making sure that they're "raising a girl who feels empowered and able to speak up, play sports, just as anyone else does."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How These Gay Dads Prepared for Twins

Marc and Steve, who are expecting twins girls later this year, tell us how they've prepared to grow their family

Guest post by Marc and Steve

As mentioned in our previous blog it was a shock to find out that we will be expecting twins later on this year. It had taken some getting used to idea but now we are counting down the last few months before we can welcome our twin girls into the family.

Both Marc and I knew we always wanted to have more than one child, the main reason for this was so our first (Spencer) always had some company, someone to play with and so he never felt like he was alone. From around the age of three Spencer has been asking about having a sibling, we knew this day would come as inevitably he was going to have friends who had siblings, so at some point he was going to question why he was an only child. We always said we wanted to have as small of an age gap as possible but unfortunately this did not happen for various reasons. Not that it makes that much difference to us now, in fact we believe it has worked out better this way, with Spencer being that little bit older and more independent he can be a lot more involved with the care of his sisters. He is already telling us that he will help us by getting them nappies and wipes.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

Traditional Surrogacy Is "Entirely Based on Trust" Says These U.K.-Based Dads

Marc and Steve pursued "traditional surrogacy," uncommon in the United States, meaning their surrogate is genetically related to their child

Marc and Steve live in Shropshire, United Kingdom. They have a four-year-old son, and are expecting twins via traditional surrogacy which is when the surrogate is both the egg donor and carrier. Here's their traditional surrogacy journey.

Together six years, Marc and Steve always wanted to be fathers, and craved a biological connection with their children. "This is why we chose surrogacy," explained Marc, "specifically, traditional surrogacy as it fitted our wants and need more; knowing our child's other genetic half was important to us."

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Surrogate for Gay Couple Pens Emotional Essay About Her Experiences

Lindsay Curtis penned an emotional essay for HuffPo Personal about her experiences serving as a traditional surrogate for a gay couple

In an emotional essay for HuffPost Personal, Lindsay Curtis writes about her experiences serving as a traditional surrogate in order to help a gay couple start their family. As she notes in her essay, traditional surrogacy, when the surrogate uses her own eggs to help conceive a child rather than use donor eggs, is much less common than gestational surrogacy, when the surrogate is not genetically related to the child.

Of her decision to serve as a traditional surrogate, Curtis writes: "In my early 20s, my maternal instinct went into overdrive and I felt a deep desire to get pregnant. I knew I wasn't ready to become a mother, as I was still in college and working part-time as a nanny. After watching a news segment on surrogacy one evening, I turned to my partner at the time and said, 'I want to do that.'"

As a lesbian, Curtis specifically wanted to help a male same-sex couple become dads. Within days of posting an ad online, she wrote, she heard from a gay couple who lived only three hours away.

"We exchanged a flurry of emails, talked for hours on the phone, met in person weeks later and within two months, I was pregnant with their child ― my biological daughter."

After Curtis gave birth, she says, she "I drove to my own home with empty arms and a broken heart."

The feeling of emptiness even led her to serve as a surrogate yet again. "Defying reason, I became a surrogate once more," she wrote, "giving birth only 15 months later to another healthy baby girl. Any therapist would tell you I was recreating trauma to gain some semblance of control over the situation the second time around.

Eventually, Curtis would give birth to her own daughter, named "Evelyn," which she notes means "wished for child." But she says her experiences as a traditional surrogate has left a lasting impact:

"Surrogacy changed the way I loved ― I became more guarded with my heart. It changed the way I saw mothers with their babies. At times, jealousy would overcome me as I watched mothers play with their toddlers in the park while I looked after the children I nannied. And although I had satiated my desire to experience pregnancy, my maternal instinct never quieted ― it only grew louder."

Read the whole essay here.

What is surrogacy, and what can gay men expect if they pursue this path to parenthood? For gay men specifically, surrogacy is the arrangement or legal agreement whereby a woman carries a pregnancy for a single gay man or gay couple who will become the newborn's father(s) at birth. The surrogate relinquishes any biological tie or maternal role to the baby.

The process requires either in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to place the fertilized egg into the surrogate's uterus, or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to impregnate the surrogate. An IUI can only be used for traditional surrogacy.For most gay men, creating a family through surrogacy is the only opportunity to have a paternal biological connection with their children.

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