When it comes to having kids, gay and lesbian couples face a few obvious logistical problems over and above the sheer drama of bringing them up. We caught up with gay couple Matt and Martin who gave the lowdown on their chosen path to parenthood.
After a lot of research we found that this was the best option for us.
Surrogacy is a regular practice in the US and we decided to go to California as this is one of the few places in the world where two men could be on the birth certificate. We also found we were covered completely legally and we didn’t want to take any risks or not know exactly where we stood throughout the process.
Medically they have some of the best IVF doctors in the world and, as Matt’s sister is our egg donor, healthcare was a priority.
Finding a surrogate mother
We found our surrogate mother through a surrogacy agency in San Diego called Surrogate Alternative.
After researching and interviewing agencies we registered with Surrogate Alternative and began going through a database of surrogate mothers and creating a profile about us as a couple and our motivation to be parents.
We read through their profiles about themselves, their families and their motivation to be a surrogate. Once we narrowed it down to a few surrogates we began the process of talking with them and once we spoke with the woman who was to be our surrogate, we knew straight away that she was the one and she felt the same about us.
We don’t have any issues at all. We talk to her a lot, whether by emails, phone calls or photos on a weekly basis.
We spent a lot of time getting to know her and her family when we were in the US and it helps when you get along so well. Her husband and family are amazing and supportive of the process and she has the most wonderful daughter.
Being able to communicate freely with her was a quality that was at the top of our list (other than the obvious healthy lifestyle etc) when we were choosing a surrogate mother, so we felt we were on the pregnancy journey with her. And she’s not afraid to call us at any hour to share information like her morning sickness or the growth of her belly.
Other gay dads in the village
You’d be surprised at how many there are in Australia alone, let alone around the world, who have been through surrogacy or are in the process of doing it.
We were lucky enough to find a great online support group called Gay Dads Australia (gaydadsaustralia.com.au). This is a fantastic group of gay dads and families who share and collate their experience and knowledge into an online forum and support group that anyone wanting to become a gay dad can join. They have forums for each state and a national forum specifically for gay dads going through surrogacy.
Do your research. That is definitely the most important part. We spent the best part of a year researching and talking to people before making our move.
Find others who have done the same thing -” you’ll need the support and experience they can provide. We would be more than happy to talk with anyone looking at the possibility of starting their family through surrogacy.
We want to show people and create awareness of the options. Even if you are gay, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a parent. Whether you go through adoption or surrogacy or co-parenting, the fact you’re going to these great lengths just shows you want it more, are ready, and will be a great parent.
Gay Dads Australia is an online portal which aims to provide gay dads, from across the nation, with the opportunity to network, discuss and discover support services available to same-sex parents or those who are planning on becoming gay parents.
The website provides a list of state-based gay dads’ local support groups and a section devoted to news coverage of gay parenting. There’s also a resource section which includes a library crammed full of parenting information, including discussions on rights and parenting in general. It explores the breadth of parenting options -” adoption, co-parenting, fostering, married or divorced dads and surrogacy -” as well as providing a comprehensive look at surrogacy and how to achieve it.
Gaydadsaustralia.com also has a section devoted to real life stories, putting human faces to experiences of gay parenting. Those who use the website regularly can also post their own stories.
info: For further details visit gaydadsaustralia.com