In a good news story we all need right now, even though technically it happened four years ago in 2017, a gay throuple was the first family in California to be granted the legal right to have all three of their names on their children’s birth certificates.

As told to The Morning Show’s Larry and Kylie earlier this month via a satellite link to their home in San Diego, Dr Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges, who are dads to Piper (3), and Parker (14 months) decided to tell their stories almost four years after the fact in the hope that it would encourage and support other LGBTQI families to come out, so to speak, and feel empowered to fight for legal protections and rights for themselves.

Ian and Alan had been a couple for nine years when Jeremy joined the couple to become a throuple. With so many fathers in the mix, you’d wonder if anyone knew who anyone was asking for! But the fellas have it sorted – the kids call Ian ‘papa’, Jeremy ‘daddy’ and Alan ‘dada.’

Polyamory More Accepted In The USA

It is legally recognised and acceptable to be in a ‘throuple’ or polyamouros relationship in parts of the USA – in 2020 in Massachusetts, the city of Somerville’s city council unanimously agreed to extended domestic partner benefits to include polyamorous groups of three or more partners. Having more than two parents on a child’s birth certificate is more common than you might think too, with “tri-parenting” being accepted in some cases in 12 states in America.

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 Not so much in Australia, where if you request a search on Google including the word “Throuple” you might very well be shown information on polygamy (a different thing again) but if you search for polyamory or polyamorous relationships, you’ll have more luck. Even though technically such relationships are not legally recognised in Australia, you could still be covered under Australia’s de-facto laws, which recognises that a person can be in multiple de-facto relationships concurrently.

Papa Ian is a specialist in hospital medicine and a university professor and in March is releasing a book describing his family’s journey named Three Dads And A Baby, which is also the name of their Instagram account. From the book’s blurb, “Ultimately the grace of women – embryo donors, their egg donor, their surrogate, even a surprise milk donor – allow them to complete their family with one perfect girl, and become the first polyamorous family ever named as the legal parents of a child.”

The Missing Vital Piece(s)

When Jeremy came along to complete the throuple, he brought with him some precious jewels, a vital ingredient lacking in their particular arrangement and one which made their dream of becoming a family come true – the embryos. As Ian told HuffPost in 2020, “One of his friends offered us the embryos they had left from making their family through IVF but couldn’t use,” he said. “We had the option to adopt the embryos and make the decision to raise a unique family.”

“We’ve had zero pushback from anyone in our professional and personal lives. Our oldest now is in preschool, and the other parents and kids are like, ‘Cool! Tell us that story.’”

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