We’d like you to meet this Californian family of three: Michael, Rudy and Shi’a! Michael and Rudy live in Los Angeles, California, with their 5-year-old daughter Shi’a who was born via gestational surrogacy. After Michael and Rudy met online 10 years ago, their relationship moved very quickly: After one instant message and 20 minutes chatting on the phone, the two became inseparable. Since that day they have spent almost every day together! They are in a domestic partnership. Both Michael and Rudy always wanted kids, and even discussed becoming dads on their first date!
Gays With Kids: Why did you choose gestational surrogacy as the best path to fatherhood for your family?
Michael: We considered adoption but the process seemed very uncertain for parents; it scared us. After researching our options we felt surrogacy was right for us and would allow us to be parents quicker than most processes.
Gays With Kids: Do you have advice for others considering a similar path to fatherhood?
Michael: Do your research! Surrogacy is a great way to start a family but many mistakes can be made along the way, mistakes that can cost LOTS of money. I feel that online chat rooms and message boards are a great way to do research. And don’t let anyone or anything stop you from making your dreams of becoming a parent a reality. We went through so much, encountered so many things that made us feel that it was impossible to become parents, but, after several years, because of our dedication towards this amazing goal, we brought a beautiful little girl into the world.
Gays With Kids: How have those close to you responded to your family?
Michael: They are all happy now. The older family members, those who were “set in their ways,” took some time to be okay with it. One family member asked us if the mom was going to take our baby back if she wanted! For them to understand, we had to educate our family members more than most!
Gays With Kids: What does Shi'a call you?
Michael: I am called Mommy, Rudy is Papi. When people ask why I go by Mommy, we say that I do everything a mother does for her child. The word mommy is meaningful to us: It describes what a person does for a child.
2015: Michael and Shi'a
The answers were edited for clarity.