Article originally published September 18, 2018
In 2018, two first-time gay dads wrote a courtesy note for their fellow airline passengers, informing them that this was their newborn's first flight and how she would "do her utmost to be on her best behavior to ensure that you have a peaceful flight." Little did they know that this note, its accompanying goodie bag and sweet photo would end up in the hands of fellow passenger and former One Direction star, Niall Horan. Horan tweeted a photo of the goodie bag and attached note, and the twittersphere exploded with heart-eyed smiley face emojis. The tweet pulled on the heartstrings of hundreds of thousands of people. Here's the family story of two Danish gay dads whose trip home became a viral sensation.
Andreas Husby and Rasmus Soendergaard, both in their early thirties, met 12 years ago while taking a scuba diving class. They live in Lyndby, Denmark, and at first, when they discussed growing their family, they wanted to try and adopt seeing as it had been legalized in the Scandinavian countries. However, the countries where they were eligible to adopt from, as Danish residents, had their own laws against gay couples adopting. And thus, the door was closed. Andreas and Rasmus briefly considered co-parenting with a lesbian couple, but were worried that it might become complicated.
"When we heard about surrogacy, that sounded perfect," said Andreas, "so we went along with that path."
One day browsing YouTube, Andreas came across an informational video of John Weltman, CEO and founder of Circle Surrogacy, speaking at a Men Having Babies event. "A lot of the questions people asked were the same questions that I had," said Andreas. "It sounded interesting so I started to research some more." The more research he did, the more he knew that surrogacy was the right choice for their family. They chose to work with Circle as their surrogacy agency, and on Circle's recommendation, they met with RMACT's Dr. Mark Leondires. "We really liked his direct approach to the medical process."
The flew over the US for the their FDA testing and semen storage, and began their journey. Their first two embryo transfers were sadly unsuccessful. The couple began to doubt their path and thought maybe it was a sign. But they put their fears and hesitations aside and tried again. On their third attempt, their surrogate became pregnant.
The dads-to-be were hands-on throughout the pregnancy, with Andreas, who had airline miles from a previous job, flying over for the 10-week, 20-week and 30-week scan. They both flew over two weeks before their surrogate's due date; their baby daughter Marit Victoria was born May 3, 2018, a little over a week before the due date.
Andreas and Rasmus will forever be thankful to their surrogate whom they have an ongoing and special relationship with. The plan is for their surrogate and her son to come visit the dads in Denmark during winter so they can experience snow and a cold winter seeing as they hail from California.
The new dads are adjusting to life as parents - in the early days, the round the clock feeding schedule made sleep a distant memory for them both. But they're getting the hang of it, and Marit is gaining weight and already sleeping through the night at three months.
When the couple were renting their accommodation in California, where they spent their time awaiting the arrival of Marit and during her first couple of weeks on this earth, Andreas came up with the idea of the goodie bags. He'd seeing something similar before, and after all, who doesn't love a goodie bag? "At first, when Rasmus came in and saw me seated on the floor with piles of candy making the goodie bags, he just shook his head and laughed." No one knew that these thoughtful little gestures would ensure a welcome home like no other. When they gave them out on the plane, the dads, in their exhausted new parents state, thought they recognized a familiar face ( - Niall Horan! - ) but were more concerned with caring for their newborn to think much of it.
It wasn't till a couple of days after their flight, that dads Andreas and Rasmus realized that Marit's goodie bag had become a viral sensation! Niall Horan of One Direction fame had tweeted the photo of little Marit with an accompanying note: "Had the coolest little goodie bag on the plane with this letter enclosed. Marit was quiet as a mouse for 10 hours. Good luck to both dads."
Several media companies reached out to Andreas and Rasmus for comments and the dads obliged, happy to share their family's news and to show a positive image of a family created by surrogacy. "A lot of people in Europe seem to believe that surrogacy is a matter of renting a womb and taking advantage of underprivileged women … Hopefully by sharing our story we can help spread the message that that is wrong and that surrogates do it because they have a genuine with to help others."
After their 15 minutes of fame, the dads are thriving as a family of three, and one day hope to grow their family again through surrogacy. We can't wait to see what will be in the next goodie bag!
Dads Andreas and Rasmus welcomed their son Matteo on March 8th, 2020. He was born through surrogacy in the United States "We have always known that we wanted two kids."
"Holding Matteo was surreal," shared Andreas. "The birth went so fast, and the pregnancy in general went so fast this time. The days just fly on when you have a toddler that keeps you occupied."
Congratulations to the family of four!