"I had dreamed of becoming a dad my whole life," said Brandon. "The urge was palpable."
In 2013, Brandon Goss began his surrogacy journey and never looked back. Through Men Having Babies, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping gay men navigate the complicated surrogacy process, he found Simple Surrogacy, the clinic that would help make his dreams of fatherhood come true.
"I cannot begin to tell how blessed I am to have been given the chance to experience the miracle of IVF and surrogacy," said Brandon, using the acronym for the fertility procedure used during surrogacy, In Vitro Fertilization.
Brandon and his daughter
Men Having Babies has helped gay men become dads since 2012. They host multiple conferences a year in cities across the United States that provide gay men with an unparalleled look into the surrogacy process: leading surrogacy agencies attend to provide information and answer questions, and gay men like Brandon are on hand to provide a personal perspective on what the process is like. The group is also the only known organization to provide financial assistance to gay men interested in surrogacy through their grant program, Gay Parenting Assistance Program.
Landon (left) and Brian with their surrogate Sarah
With his surrogacy journey complete, Brandon is excited to be working with Men Having Babies to help other gay men learn about the process by participating as a panelist in conferences. Most recently, he spoke at the organization's event in Austin, Texas that took place earlier this March.
On April 14-15, Men Having Babies will be returning to Illinois for it's next conference, the Chicago Surrogacy Conference & Expo, which will feature surrogacy parenting options in both the United States and Canada, in an extended two-day format.
This year, Landon Wilson will be speaking about his recent surrogacy journey at the conference. Landon and his husband Brian became fathers when their son was born in August last year, and they hope to make him a big brother in the not too distant future. He will be part of a panel of gay dads and their surrogates sharing their personal experience of surrogacy. Landon's surrogate, Sarah (pictured above) will be joining him.
"[Brian and I] developed a very close relationship with our surrogate, Sarah," said Landon. "It has been an amazing experience with her and she will always be a part of [my son's] life, and she's going to help him become a big brother soon!"
Brian and Landon with their son
Landon knows what it's like to be on the other side of a surrogacy journey, and is excited to help share his experiences at the upcoming conference. "The whole process can seem completely overwhelming at times and things will not go according to plan," says Landon.
Now that he's come out on the other end with a happy, health baby boy in arms, he's excited to help pay it forward by sharing his experience with other gay men. "The joy in the moment you hold your child for the first time changes your life and makes every struggle seem like an insignificant price to pay."
What kind of advice can gay men expect at the conference? Brandon offered a bit of a teaser: "If having a child is your lifelong goal, do not give up!" he said. "Continue to believe that you will be a parent one day soon. One day you will be able to tell your child that they were not an accident or a mistake, but rather a planned miracle orchestrated their dad."
Convinced yet? Get your ticket here.
Date: April 14-15, 2018
Where: Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613
Registration: Admission for both days is $25 per person in advance ($30 at the door - space permitting) and will include lunch and a reception.