Gay Dad Family Stories

These Dads Had 'Twins' — Just Four Months Apart

Angel and Dan's wanted twins, without the complications of a twin pregnancy — so they worked with two separate surrogates at once.

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.



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Race

How a White Gay Dad Discusses Racial Issues with his Black Sons

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis, Joseph Sadusky shares two excerpts from his book that deal directly with issues around raising black sons.

Editor's Note: In light of George Floyd's death, this month, author Joseph Sadusky — who has been sharing excerpts from his book Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad each month —will share two posts that deal directly with issues around raising black sons. This is the first, titled "White," which looks at general questions that come up for a white dad raising black boys. Read previous installments here.

It may be presumptuous for a Caucasian gay man to claim to feel terrified and heartsick at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But upon hearing the news that day in 2012, this is exactly how I felt.

The horrible truth is that there are many incidents of racial violence toward black males that I could use as starting points for this topic. But the specific case of Trayvon Martin—whose only crime was being a young black male wearing a hoodie, walking in a neighborhood where he had a home—has a particular resonance for me. Whatever the legalities of George Zimmerman using a gun to "stand his ground" if he felt his life was threatened, the simple truth is that he chose—against the direction of law enforcement, whom he contacted for support—to follow an African American male who had every right to be walking those neighborhood streets, however "thug" he might appear.

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Become a Gay Dad

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Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the fields of adoption and foster care to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on adoption or foster care that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Top 5 Questions About Covid-19's Impact On Surrogacy

Leading industry experts answer questions from queer men about the impact of Covid-19 on the surrogacy process.

Recently, GWK hosted a series of free webinars with leading experts led by industry experts in the field of surrogacy to learn about up-to-date insights on how the coronavirus affects family building. The presentations left lots of room for audience Q&A, to allow participants to get their individual questions answered — there were some common questions raised during each webinar, however, so we've put together a quick video of our experts answering some of the top concerns from queer men interested in pursuing surrogacy.

Our team of experts include:

Have other questions about the impact of the coronavirus on surrogacy that you'd like our experts to answer? Be sure to email us at dads@gayswithkids.com.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 5 Questions About Covid 19's Impact On Surrogacy. These are highlights taken from our live webinar series we held featuring: G...

Transracial Families Series

How These Dads Address White Privilege within Their Transracial Family

The "white savior" complex is real, said Andrew and Don, who are raising two Black children.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of ongoing posts exploring issues related to transracial families headed by gay, bi and trans men. Interested in being featured as part of the series? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com

Andrew Kohn, 40, and his husband Donald (Don) Jones, 47, together 13 years, are two white dads raising two Black children in Columbus, Ohio. Do they stick out? Sure. Have they encountered racism? They say they haven't. "I keep waiting for the moment so that I can become my best Julia Sugarbaker," said Andrew. "I think because we're a gay couple with Black kids, we're the other-other and people don't really say things to us. We have never had people touch our kids hair or do something that was inappropriate."

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New LGBTQ-Inclusive Children's Book Asks: What Makes a Family?

A new children's book by Seamus Kirst follows a young girl's journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her "real dad."

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Seamus Kirst, author of the new LGBTQ-inclusive children's book "Papa, Daddy, Riley."

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think.

There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.

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Interested in Foster Care? These Amazing Dads Have Some Advice

As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we rounded up some amazing examples of gay men serving as foster care dads, helping provide kids with a bright future.

Every May in the United States, we celebrate National Foster Care Month. With over 437,000 children and youth in foster care, it's our honor to take a look at some of the awesome dads in our community who are opening their hearts and their homes, and providing these kids with a bright future.

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Transracial Families Series

This Transracial Family Relies on a 'Support Group' of African American Women

Puerto Rican dads Ferdinand and Manuel are raising a daughter of Jamaican descent — and love to find ways to celebrate their family's diversity

Our second feature in our transracial family series. Read the first one here.

Ferdinand Ortiz, 39, and his husband Manuel Gonzalez, 38, have been together for 7 years. In 2017, they became foster dads when they brought their daughter, Mia Valentina, home from the hospital. She was just three days old at the time. On December 13, 2018, her adoption was finalized.

Mia is of Jamaican and African American heritage, and her dads are both Puerto Rican. When Manuel and Ferdinand began their parenting journey through the foster care system, they received specific training on how to be the parents of a child whose race and culture was different from their own. "We learned that it's important to celebrate our child's culture and surround ourselves with people who can help her be proud of her culture." However, as helpful as this training was, the dads agreed that it would've been beneficial to hear from other transracial families and the type of challenges that they faced.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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