Last year, after 12 years together, Jimmy Nguyen and Michael Duque were finally ready to become dads. And so in 2017 they began their journey to fatherhood. Little did they know how quickly that would become a reality. What began with a serendipitous sighting of an ad for an upcoming Men Having Babies conference resulted in the joyous birth of their son in October 2018. Here's their story.
When Jimmy and Michael were in their early and mid-twenties, they met through friends. Their relationship was a just a friendship at first. When Michael's romantic relationship with another man ended, Jimmy, quite innocently at first, stepped up to comfort Michael through the breakup. This led Jimmy to realize his own feelings for Michael were stronger than friendship, and the two made their own relationship official.
Even in their early years together, they had discussed fatherhood, agreeing that it was something they both wanted. "We created a mental roadmap early on that serviced as a roadmap towards our goal of becoming dads," said Jimmy. Surrogacy was their preferred path as they wanted to be biologically related to their children. "We did consider other options such as fostering and adoption, but we felt that surrogacy was the right choice for us," explained Michael. At the end of 2016, it became their New Year's resolution to start their journey.
In early January 2017, Jimmy was scrolling through Facebook when he came across an ad for a Men Having Babies conference. It was a Tuesday, and the conference was for the following Saturday in San Francisco. (They live in Los Angeles.) He immediately called Michael who told him to go for it. Jimmy bought tickets right away, and before they knew it, they were attending the seminar.
Jimmy and Michael had already done a fair amount of research on their own; they didn't know if they were going to learn anything new, and were uncertain how they would feel afterwards. "Either we walk into this thing and walk out of it gung-ho, ready to dive into it," explained Jimmy, "or we would say, 'What are we getting ourselves into?' … But we walked away from the seminar really gung-ho about it, really excited to start our journey to parenthood."
At the seminar they met with Canadian Fertility Consulting, an organization they were, through their own research, already interested in working with. The conference really set the wheels in motion. Also at the conference, they discussed their burgeoning plans with the San Diego Fertility Center and had an instant connection. "We fell in love with them at the seminar!" said Jimmy. "We were blown away by how personal and informative they were."
Following the conference, the aspiring dads' journey took off. Jimmy and Michael signed with Canadian Fertility Consulting, and at the San Diego fertility clinic they had their first transfer in October 2017. Sadly, they were unsuccessful the first time, but they tried again January 2018. This time, the dads and their surrogate had a positive pregnancy test, and on October 11, 2018, their son was born.
"We are over the moon with our little son," gushed Jimmy. "We look at each other and ask ourselves, 'What did we do before our son was born?' We are having so much fun with him, and really enjoying having him in our lives."
The dads have formed a very close relationship with their surrogate as well, which is something they always desired having seen an intended parent and his surrogate speak at the San Francisco MHB seminar. "I remember specifically there was one IP who became best friends with their surrogate, and we thought, 'That's what we want,'" said Michael. The two dads and their son are traveling to Canada soon to spend some time with their surrogate and her family whom they now consider close and dear friends.
In January 2019, MHB will be returning for its sixth annual Men Having Babies West Coast conference. The seminar will bring together medical and legal experts, parents and surrogate mothers, as well as community activists. Prospective parents will benefit from practical and personal peer advice and opportunities to meet a wide range of leading providers from the United States and Canada at the Gay Parenting Expo, breakout sessions and in private consultations. This event is being co-hosted by Our Family Coalition, an advocacy group that has been working to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer families with children for over 20 years.
Jimmy and Michael are also going to be there, with baby Jon-Pierre. And their advice to those considering attending? "Don't be intimidated or cautious if it seems a little daunting ... It is well worth it in the end. This journey has been nothing short of amazing."
So if you'd like to listen to experts, talk to dads who've been there, hear surrogates share their stories, and are ready to really kickstart your own journey to fatherhood, join us! For more details, see below.
2019 San Francisco Surrogacy Conference, January 12-13
January 12, 2018: 8:30AM – 8:00PM, January 13: 8:30AM – 12:45PM
The conference will take place at Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Attendees can benefit from special group rates for hotel accommodations at the Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel
Admission for both days is $25 per person in advance ($30 at the door – space permitting) and will include lunch and receptions.
This conference is being co-hosted by Our Family Coalition.