As they sauntered into their 40s, husbands Mark Hoebich and Brendan Hug started thinking about what it might take to start a family of their own. Now they’re awaiting the birth of their second child, they want other gay men over the age of 40 to know; it’s not too late to start having kids.
Brendan and Mark met on OK Cupid in 2014 and went on their first date together in West Hollywood. They were married at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park in 2017.
51-year-old Mark, a California-based tech entrepreneur, said he always knew he wanted to be a dad. Having worked with kids in college as a camp counselor at UCLA’s Alumni resort, he had always had a passion for children. 42-year-old Brendan, a marketing attorney, approached the decision with a little more caution, doing plenty of reading and research first.
Having married later in life, the couple confessed they did feel “a certain amount of pressure” to begin the process of starting their family sooner rather than later.
“We often say we’re new dads, but we’re not young dads,” Mark smiled. “We had our daughter Lucille when I was 49 and Brendan was 40. Kids take love, patience, commitment, and a lot of energy, so we were always cognizant of moving things forward.”
Although they felt the clocks were somewhat ticking, the couple agreed having kids was not something they should casually entertain. They wanted to be sure it was something they both really wanted.
So before they made any big moves, Brendan and Mark decided to do a little hands-on research into what it would be like to be dads.
“We met with a number of very generous and wonderful couples with kids who allowed us to look into their lives to get a realistic perspective on what to expect,” Mark said. “That was incredibly helpful. We also read a very helpful book titled The Baby Decision, which includes a lot of exercise for us as a couple that helped us determine having kids now was right for us.”
At first, they seriously considered adoption, but in the end chose surrogacy as they were keen to be on a timeline they felt they had more control over. Their daughter Lucille was born via surrogacy in 2019, and they welcomed their second child, a boy, also via surrogacy, in early October 2021.
To all the would-be older dads out there, Mark and Brendan said don’t feel rushed to create a family, but wait until you have the right situation to welcome children into your life.
“It’s worth waiting for the right time and, believe it or not, kids keep you young!” Brendan said. “We love what you guys have done with GWK, we find the stories of gay families to be so inspiring. We hope our story inspires someone, too, particularly older couples that might wonder if it’s too late to have kids.”