Guest post by Eran Amir, founder of GoStork
My story begins in 2016, at which point I was single and working in tech at a big bank. It’s hard to believe now, only five years later, how much life has changed, and those years have been so incredibly full. Today I have an amazing husband and two beautiful daughters, Ariel and Yael. I’m also the Founder of GoStork, the first fertility marketplace where intended parents find, compare and connect with top fertility providers.
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to have children. I was hoping to start a family with a partner, so I gave myself a deadline; my 40th birthday. If I didn’t find my person by then, I would begin the journey on my own. As life would have it, the very first day after I turned 40, I started researching surrogacy.
It was so much more difficult than I could have ever expected. I spent weeks, completely losing track of the hours, weeding through countless different websites and information sources. I didn’t have friends or family who had gone through surrogacy, and I didn’t even know how to make the choice about which agency to go with. I had no idea what the roadmap ahead looked like, and I got frustrated with the lack of transparency around pricing or having any way to compare agencies ‘apples to apples.' I didn’t get any support as a gay father (without an infertility diagnosis) from my company’s insurance policy — and the list of issues goes on.
I needed an egg donor as well and, similar to how my surrogacy agency search began, it was far more difficult than expected to find "the one". I had specific criteria that I was looking for, and each egg donor agency seemed to have a limited inventory. I eventually went to four different agencies and did all of the registration processes for each, some of which I even needed to pay for just to access, before I finally matched with the wonderful donor for both of my girls. I’ve now learned this is a common experience for many other intended parents, so if you’re going through it as well, I can relate!
Eventually, I began to piece things together. I got a referral from a friend of a friend of a friend, made a plan, and started my journey. Fast forward eight months, Tinder matched me with my now husband Mike! We both lived in NYC, where he was doing a research year at NYU while in medical school. But as fate would have it, he was moving to Boston literally the day we matched. During our first conversation I told him I was already on a surrogacy journey, and we made plans for me to visit him the following weekend.
It’s so cliche… but the rest is history. We dated from a distance, but we made it work. When it’s worth it, the distance isn’t even a question. When Mike finished medical school, he moved back to New York to be with me. In the meantime, having matched with an amazing gestational carrier in June of 2018, my dream of fatherhood came true with the birth of my little Ariel... and even better, Mike was a supportive and equal partner to me in this journey to fatherhood.
Learning how to be parents was an incredible bonding experience. I often hear people say there’s no perfect guidebook for parenting, but I actually read multiple books (if you know me, you’d already guess this), and we figured it out together. Experiencing Ariel’s first year was life-changing in all the best ways possible — topped off with Mike and I getting married the day before her first birthday.
Despite all the difficulties at the beginning, I’ve been so grateful for my family-building experience. And because of those same difficulties, I soon started to realize what needed to happen next...
In early 2019, my path to parenthood became the inspiration for an exciting new professional path as well. I left the career I had worked over 20 years to build and, leaning on my technology and product background, I began to create GoStork with a mission to bring transparency to the fertility industry, and to help intended parents make informed decisions about their fertility providers. It's exactly what I would have wanted when I was feeling so lost at the beginning of my search.
It has been a labor of love (some days more labor than love!) But in 2020, we launched GoStork.com, with both egg donor and then surrogacy agency marketplaces. We have since grown to feature 50 top surrogacy agencies, all carefully vetted, and over 10,000 egg donors aggregated from many different egg donor agencies, creating the largest free online database of its kind.
GoStork is the only place where you can search top fertility providers, filter by your needs and preferences, use a unique one-click comparison tool to view them side-by-side for all criteria that is important for you, and then either instantly chat or book appointments directly with them — all on one free platform.
2021 brought even more exciting milestones! Now, not only do we have intended parents joining GoStork.com from all over the world, but we have also started to offer fertility financing. This is very important to us, as this journey is still prohibitively expensive for too many. So now, you can apply for fertility loans right from our homepage. On that note, despite all of these changes, one thing remains the same; GoStork is 100% free to use. As an intended parent myself, that is very important to our core values; we simply don’t want to add another expense to the process.
Finally, we’re thrilled to share that in the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing the first IVF clinic marketplace — and we have even more exciting plans to continue in the months to come!
When we first launched, I named Ariel as my co-founder. Needless to say, she’s just as thrilled as I am that we’re supporting so many intended parents as they take such an important step along their path to parenthood. In April 2021, Mike and I welcomed our second daughter, and my second co-founder, Yael.
To be honest, the second journey was actually a much longer and harder one than the first, amidst Covid and other setbacks with our gestational carrier. But Yael was of course worth every second of the stress and the waiting, and we couldn’t be any happier to see our family continue to grow.
We're pleased to bring attention to our company to the audience at Gays With Kids. We love everything you do for the community and are honored to collaborate!