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Why A Single Gay Guy from Norway Pursued Surrogacy in the U.S. to Become the Dad He Always Wanted to Be

Bent-Einar, single gay dad living in Norway, became a dad to his little girl with the help of Circle Surrogacy.

Bent-Einar, who lives in Norway, had always wanted to be a father. He admits that as a single guy, the thought of starting a family alone was difficult, because what you'd always hear is that a child needs both a mother and a father.

But his desire to be a dad far outweighed the preconceived notions of what was considered "family", so he began his research on surrogacy. Thanks to Circle Surrogacy, he is the proud Dad to a beautiful daughter, who makes his life complete.

Here, Bent-Einar tells his story.


"It took years before I signed on with a surrogacy agency."

I have always wanted to be a father. I am very family-oriented, and imagined having a family myself. I started to research surrogacy. I was interested in the ethical and moral sides of the process.

In the beginning, I was hesitant with the idea of using a surrogate mother. So I started to read more about surrogacy, mainly about why women become surrogates. I wanted to better understand what motivated them to carry a baby for someone else. I wasn't looking for a woman who was doing this for money. I wanted a to find a woman who really wanted to help someone in my situation.

I discussed the idea of surrogacy with female friends in Norway. When I mentioned my thoughts on the motivation behind a woman wanting to be a surrogate, my friends said, "If it was legal in Norway, I would do it. I was so happy when I was pregnant! I enjoying being pregnant, I would do it for someone else."

It took almost 3 years of research and contemplation before I started thinking this was a good idea, mostly because I was single. I thought it would be easier to be two parents versus a single parent. I sat down with my family and explained to them what I was feeling, and they basically told me that women have been single mothers for thousands of years! If they could do it, than I would be able to raise a child on my own, too.

My meeting with Circle Surrogacy went well. I met with Dean (lawyer) and Brett (parent associate and gay dad through surrogacy). I wasn't sure what to expect; the culture between the US and Norway is different, but when I met with Dean and Brett, they were both laid back and I immediately felt comfortable talking to them and sharing my story.

After the consult, I decided the very next day I wanted to sign on; I was older and I didn't want to waste any more time!

"I wasn't mentally prepared to fail."

When I started out on my surrogacy journey, I thought nothing would fail. You hear all of the success stories, see the joy on people's faces, and assume they had it easy. I was so sure it was going to work the first time. I wasn't mentally prepared to fail the first time, because you hear about so many people who get pregnant on the first try. But when you don't succeed, you start to hear about others who struggled, too. You see that not everyone had an easy journey. They are successful, but not always the first time.I wasn't successful at first. I had a little bit of a rough journey with two different fertility clinics, and a few rounds with my egg donor. My surrogate got pregnant with my very last embryo and she carried and delivered my baby girl.

The Importance of a Strong Support System

I would not have been able to go through the surrogacy process without the tremendous support from my family. Not only did they support me while I was doing my research and thinking about becoming a single dad, but they were my support throughout the pregnancy and birth, and even now that my daughter is two years old.

In addition to my own family, I have lots of friends living nearby with kids. My daughter is lucky that she gets to spend a lot of time with other children. It's important for me to surround myself with others in similar situations, and show her my daughter that it's normal to have one father, two fathers, one mom or two moms.

Plus, I met 3 or 4 other couples who became parents through surrogacy through Circle, and we've become close. We call ourselves 'a little family', and it's been great to be connected with them. We're so happy to have each other for support.

"I have gained a family in America."

My surrogate and I had a connection from the very first day. Throughout the entire journey she was interested and communicative, and we became very close. I've been to her mother's wedding and her grandfather's funeral. She helped me get the paperwork and necessary passports for my daughter and I to fly home. We have a bond that not many people will ever share. She's like my American family.

I wanted this open relationship with my surrogate; I wanted everything to be transparent and out in the open. It's why when selecting an egg donor, choosing known egg donation was important for me. I wanted to make it easy for my daughter could connect with both women who helped bring her here, should she ever want to meet them, or Skype with them, or send drawings to them. I wanted them to be available and close should she want them there.

"Returning to Norway as a single dad."

When my family and I returned to Norway from the U.S. after my daughter was born, everyone wanted to come over and meet her. That's when I knew that I was surrounded by friends who would support us both as we adjusted.

My daughter had some colic in the beginning, so those first few months were a little hard. But I had a year off with her, which was amazing. After that, I started back at work at 50%, so I get to spend a lot of time with her.

But for the most part, everything has been easier than I thought it was going to be. I was prepared to change my whole life. I have noticed a big change in my friends. Those friends whom I thought would be there for me are not anymore. Those friends that I thought would have little interest have been very interested in me and my daughter, and our new life together. And I've met new friends along the way.

"I'm very happy with my new life. Very, very happy."

I'm so happy to be a father and have a perfect little girl. This experience has brought me closer with my own family. It's so nice to see how similar my little girl is to me and my mom. I love when my mom tells me that my daughter is acting exactly like I did when I was a child.

When I was starting out, I'll never forget what my mom said: "As long as the surrogate mother does it of her own free will, and she's treated well, I support you 100%". My parents were there when my daughter was born, and have been with her the whole time since.

We have a Christmas song in Norway that we sang every year when I was growing up called "Family Follow the Family." Now that I have my daughter, this Christmas has meaning to me. I'm so lucky that my family can follow my daughter in her life, and watch her grow and learn.


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Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Sponsored

The Most Important Woman a Gay Man Will Ever Date

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy gives some tips and tricks for getting to know your surrogate once matched

It's time to fine tune your dating skills because you're about to enter into the most important courtship you'll encounter. And it all starts with the biggest first date of your life.

And it's with a woman.

This woman is your gestational carrier; the woman who will carry and care for your baby until she delivers this little bundle of joy right into your arms.

Matching with a gestational carrier – or surrogate – is one of the most exciting milestones in your journey to parenthood through surrogacy. However, it can also be the most nerve wracking. Chances are you've seen a profile about your potential surrogate match so you know a little bit about her and her family. But before you commit to this woman, you'll need to meet her first – either in person or via video. And this is one first meeting you've probably never prepared for!

Circle Surrogacy has been matching surrogates and gay dads for almost 25 years. Here are tried and true tips and tricks to getting to know your surrogate...and keeping the relationship alive during pregnancy and after birth!

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Gay Dad Life

"Daddy, Which Belly Did I Come From?"

How do gay dads talk to their kids about the women that helped bring them into the world?

When you tell your kids the story of how they came to be, is the woman who delivered them identified by a face and a name? That's a decision that every gay dad has to make when it comes to having kids through surrogacy or adoption. In this episode we explored two ways of keeping in touch with the birthmother (for adoptive kids) or the gestational surrogate (for IVF and surrogacy) as part of gay dads' children's birth story.Some adoptive parents choose to have an 'open adoption,' where the child gets to meet the birthmother. Parents who go through surrogacy sometimes keep in touch with the surrogate and have their kids meet her when they are old enough.

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Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Working:​ One Father's Plea for Gun Reform

One gay dad's plea to our leaders to enact sensible gun control

My articles on GaysWithKids aspire to be lighthearted, helpful and humorous. This one won't be any of those things. Because I'm feeling heavyhearted, helpless and sad. Last week I woke up to news of yet another mass shooting. This time at a family-friendly Garlic Festival in northern California. I don't know if it's because this one hit so close to home, or if it's because the headline included a picture of the innocent 6-year old who was among those killed, but I am overcome with emotion. But mostly I am angry. And I don't know what to do with my anger.

Then, just a few days later came two additional horrific mass shootings that stole the lives of at least 32 more innocent people, many of them children. And then there's the "everyday" gun violence that plagues American cities like Chicago, where guns injured another 46 people this past weekend alone… creating so much turmoil, a hospital had to briefly stop taking patients.

How does one verbalize the collective sadness felt around the world? One can't. And that's why I am asking everyone reading this article to commit to getting involved in some way, to help end this epidemic once and for all. Even though the solution is so obvious, we can't allow ourselves to become numb to mass shootings. Because becoming numb isn't going to save anyone.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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