A FEW years ago if you had suggested to Brydon Wang he would settle down with his boyfriend to get married, let alone becoming fathers to a gorgeous baby boy, he would have laughed at you.
“About five years into the relationship, my partner suggested that we might eventually have a family. At the time, I baulked at the suggestion,” Wang said.
Wang married Nic in 2012 and it was on their honeymoon not long after the couple decided to start a family.
A year after tying the knot, Wang went to a surrogacy conference in Melbourne to find out more about the process.
The process from finding a surrogate to having a child was fairly quick for the couple, taking a year in total. Six months ago their son Dylan was born.
“The moment I held my son in my hands, there was this certainty that this was the role I was born to play,” Wang said.
“I felt instantly connected to where I came from and where I’m going and the role I play in all of this. And it’s an incredible feeling of completeness.”
Wang will be one of five speakers on a panel called Talking Turkey hosted by Sydney’s Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) about LGBTI parenting and conception. The forum as part of the Queer Thinking series in this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival.
About 11 per cent of Australian gay men and 33 per cent of lesbians have dependent children – a number which could rise if NSW were to see changes such as the legalisation of commercial surrogacy.
Wang thinks it’s important to share his experience.
“It makes sense for me and my family to encourage other lesbian and gay couples to start a family,” he said.
“The more we see families like our own, the more we’ll become part of the narrative of Australian culture and it’ll make it so much easier for our children as they grow up and find their place in the world.”
The panel will be moderated by ICLC board director Moo Baulch and will include Professor Jenni Millbank, lawyer Michael Tiyce and Wang. It will cover topics such as sperm and egg donors, surrogacy and co-parenting.
ICLC director Vicki Harding said the panel would be an important part of the Mardi Gras celebrations and give both personal and informative perspectives in an important and sometimes overlooked area of LGBTI experiences.
“There are lots of misconceptions, legal pitfalls and bureaucratic machinations to be aware of,” she said.
“LGBTIQ people looking to parent should not pass up this opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of this wonderful and complex process.”