If you have ever been out late on a Saturday night, you may have high hopes of meeting a handsome stranger, but you probably wouldn't expect to meet your future husband. Angel Mario Martinez Garcia, 45, surely didn't when, five years ago on a very early Saturday morning in Barcelona, he casually approached Dan's Mouquet, 40, and asked him, over many gin and tonics, what he wanted out of life. The nightlife setting notwithstanding, Dan's told Angel he ultimately wanted a quiet life, with a partner and children.
Turns out that's exactly what Angel wanted too. Less than two weeks after that early morning conversation, Angel and Dan's became an item.
The two men agreed to date for a year before discussing marriage. As that anniversary approached, the couple was traveling in Seattle. As a decoy, Angel told Dan's he didn't want to become engaged in Trump's America — ensuring that Dan's wouldn't propose to him. Instead, Angel surprised him with a proposal in a beautiful restaurant by the harbor. Dan's accepted, but still wanted the opportunity to propose, himself. A few months later, he did, while the two were casually lying in bed together. The couple married in April 2019.
Both Angel and Dan's always knew they wanted to have children, and started to research their options over a year before they got married. The couple originally considered adoption, but quickly learned the laws in Spain are complex. In their case, there is a mandatory 7-year long waiting period, for instance, which would have led to another problem: in Spain, the adoptive parent and child can't be more than 40 years apart in age. This would have prevented the couple, both approaching their fourth decade in life, from adopting an infant like they hoped.
So they instead turned to surrogacy, deciding to have two children, so that each man could experience biological fatherhood. During their search for an agency, the couple often found themselves worrying about corruption and scams, a concern Angel says was fueled largely by negative media reports on the issue. These worries carried over to their respective families, who were supportive of the two men's relationship and wished them success in fatherhood.
Angel said he and his partner were especially concerned about the possible mistreatment or abuse of the women who work as surrogates; complete transparency from the agencies and clinics was of utmost importance to the couple. Luckily, the men found an agency and clinic in Colombia they felt comfortable with. [DD1] Once the couple had the opportunity to meet with their surrogates, all their worries melted away. In fact, they were so happy with their choice that they used the same agency, clinic, and egg donor — which ensured a biological connection between the siblings — for both of their children.
The men wanted the closest thing to twins, but without the complications a twin pregnancy often bears. Going through the process in Colombia allowed the couple to commit to two surrogacies at once, due to the significantly lower cost of the IVF procedure in comparison to the U.S. (Though sometimes cheaper, international surrogacy also comes with its unique set of challenges and complications.)
One surrogate became pregnant on the first attempt, and the second one on the third attempt. Angel remembers the months between the two successful pregnancies as being the most difficult part of the process. They delay caused him to, "question things," he said, "Most of them completely irrational." By November 19, 2019, the Martinez-Mouquets were holding two healthy baby boys, Alexandre and Benjamin, in their arms, just 4 months apart in age.
Angel and Dan's were lucky, extraordinarily so, they like to think. The surrogates of their choosing were more than cooperative, and so were their families. The surrogates' own children spoke and interacted with both unborn babies during the pregnancies. One would even tell the baby, "Me and my mom will take care of you until you are ready for your dads to take you home," the dads said. The husbands are in close contact with both families to this day.
Angel and Dan's chose a song they wanted to be played to each baby in utero. For Alexandre, they chose "Your Song" by Elton John, and for Benjamin, they chose "Sweet Child Of Mine" by Guns N Roses. The dads say the in utero mini-concerts worked: Alexandre seems to love "Your Song," while Benjamin responds to "Sweet Child Of Mine".
For Angel, fatherhood has turned his life upside down, but it's also provided a new perspective he's thankful for. He explained that he used to be "obsessed" with his own problems, causing him to overthink everything. Now that the children are here, he doesn't have time for that anymore. He also claims the two newborn babies have all but cured his insomnia — the new dad seizes every 15-minute nap break he can get, he said, and falls asleep instantly every time.
Angel liked the work of the clinic in Colombia, that accepted their invitation to become a representative in Europe. He created SurroGay, which started as a blog and has evolved in to an advise service to gay men who want to become dads. He wanted to create a Gay Dads event in Sitges (Spain) next fall, but the coronavirus situation has forced him to postpone that until Spring 2021. SurroGay keeps him busy and he's so proud to share their story with lots of intended parents who are starting this beautiful, yet heavy, road to fatherhood.