Gay Dads Real
- Rodney and Jeff are a gay couple living in
Added: 04 July
Several years ago my mum taped a documentary on
SBS called "Man
Made" which featured a couple called Lee and Tony and their
story about creating a family through surrogacy. It was then that
my partner Jeff and I knew that this was going to be the option
for us. It took a while before we got our act together and
went to a information session set up by Lee and Tony in
Prahran. William Halm from Growing Generations in California
came out to talk to people about surrogacy. We were amazed
at the level of interest at the meeting, expecting it would be a
small turn out. We were pleasantly surprised. About 6
months later we began the process with Growing Generations.
It was not a difficult process but it certainly was an emotional
one. About 3 months after we signed up we were matched with
a surrogate called Kelly, from Ohio in the US. About 6 weeks later
we flew over to LA to meet her and her husband. It was a
very nervous couple of gay guys meeting Kelly and Mike for the
first time. Would she like us? Would we like her? It turned
out that we clicked immediately and got on famously. It was
now time to start the process!
We travelled back to LA in
late March 2006 for the IVF proceedure. Our fingers crossed,
our hearts in our mouths, and every other cliche applied during
this trip. We wanted so much to become parents and we wanted
so much for this to work. We were told that "these things
happen when they are meant to" and that we need to be
"patient". Neither of us could be called patient!
days after the transfer, Jeff and I were back in Australia.
We were awoken at 3am by a phone call from our doctor in LA who
told us that the transfer was a success, we were pregnant!
It is now 3 months on and we have just finished our first
trimester. Everything seems to be going fine. We plan
on visiting Kelly, Mike and their family in September 2006 and
then returning for the birth at the end of the year.
the most amazing things about this journey we are on is the
friendships with other gay dads and gay dads to be that we have
made. Gay Dads Victoria was our introduction and the
friendship and support has been invaluable. The journey is
not easy, but it is not hard either. It is, without
question, a very emotional journey that we have been on (and are
still on). It is still early days and our child's birth is
still many months away. But our dream of having a family is
now so close.
If there are other couples thinking about
surrogacy as a way to start a family, both Jeff and I would be
happy to share our experiences with you. [email]
- Doug and Brett are a
gay couple living in Prahran, Victoria
Updated: 10 September 2006
over 12 months ago my partner Brett and I started discussing the
possibility of having a family through surrogacy.
We had mentioned it in conversation from time to time but never
really looked at it closely until one day over lunch we decided to
try and find out how it was done.
We had briefly met Melbourne Dads Ben and Arthur and their
beautiful twins Emma and Brooke at the Midsummer Carnival day a
few months earlier.
The next day after our lunch discussion Brett set off to try and
find a contact for the boys we met at carnival day as I started
surfing the net. Up pops a contact for Lee Matthews, who we now
know as Lee, Tony, Xan and Lucy. At about the same time Brett
tracked down the number for Ben and Arthur Emma and Brooke.
Within a week we had met Lee who was about to leave with his
family for the U.S.A. and the birth of Lucy. We also met up with
Ben and Arthur and the twins.
For us, what followed was weeks of discussion, soul searching,
agonising but amazingly, not one argument.
The discussion fell into two groups.
“Why not have kids. We would be great Dads. We can do it. You only
live once”. Then, “This is ridiculous. Are we nuts? Our life will
be over. We can’t get to dinner on time let alone raise children”.
The pro family argument won out and on August 21, 2005 we got the
ball rolling (not to mention the bank account reducing!).
After initially being matched with a surrogate (who we later
decided against for various reasons) we set about searching for an
Egg Donor. Just imagine trying to choose who will be the
biological ‘other half’ of your child/children – very difficult.
After obtaining access to three separate websites loaded with a
plethora of prospective donors, we chose our donor. We went for a
donor who had donated previously, as we wanted to reduce the risk
of getting ‘poor quality eggs’ which may result in limited or poor
After a few false starts with surrogates we were sent a profile on
March 16, 2006 of our surrogate Anna and her family in Houston,
After a phone call match we decided that we were happy with Anna
and her family and they with us.
On June 24, just before our IVF transfer, we flew to Houston to
meet everyone and as expected after having chatted on the phone
and emailed for months, we got on like a house of fire. We really
bonded with them all and fell in love with their two beautiful
children aged 5 and 8 months.
We flew back to L.A., Anna followed the next day and we
transferred on July 2. This was a very emotional, stressful,
exciting and exhausting time. It was just a series of incredible
highs and lows, especially when we found Anna’s progesterone
levels were low shortly after transfer. Then we found out, that we
had no embryos left to freeze as they were such poor quality.
Fortunately, the two in implanted were textbook perfect – but none
in back-up! We had visions of having to go back and start afresh
with another egg donor.
As of now we are pregnant with twins. It is only 7 weeks into the
pregnancy so we remain cautious, but pleased - very pleased.
We will update as our journey continues………..
07 September 2006
We are at the end of the first trimester. Yeah!! Our surrogate
Anna is not emailing us as much as she is suffering morning
sickness and is very tired all day. You feel helpless being unable
to do anything about this but we still email regularly. We also
call about once a week.
Anna has moved on to her OB (Obstetrician) and we intend touching
base with him this weekend. He sounds very gay friendly which is
important. We want to look at the possibility of getting a room at
the hospital to be close to the bubs after birth.
We have entered a kind of odd ‘nothing zone’, after all the
planning and excitement of meeting our surrogate family,
undergoing the IVF process, then being told we are pregnant. Now
we just have to wait and keep sending our best wishes to Anna.
We are planing to go over to the US is November or early December,
to see Anna and family, meet our OB, and organise things like
accommodation for us when we go over for the birth.
We will update as our journey continues……….
02 November 2006
We have now hit the five-month mark with our pregnancy. We have
had a few dramas along the way. Our surrogate has suffered some
bleeding which at first, for us, seemed to spell diaster. But our
OB and others who are experienced in pregnancy assure us that
bleeding I not uncommon during pregnancy.
We leave on November 28 for another trip to Houston to meet up
with Anna and the family again – try and be a bigger part of our
pregnancy - meet our OB, hospital staff, and book accommodation
for the February birth. It will be good to get to Houston as it
certainly seems a bit surreal waiting for these two little people
to enter our lives when there has been no real change to our lives
at this stage. Being so far away from our surrogate is hard. Such
are the joys of being an international surrogacy IP. It seems
everyone has the same or similar experience.
10 December 2006
We have just returned from the USA and
everything now seems very real. Anna is clearly pregnant and we
are all very excited. We spent four days meeting our OB,
visiting the hospital where the birth will take place and seeing
our lawyer - oh and yes, we hit the malls. We strongly recommend
you make similar trip before the birth, at say the 6-month
stage, as a range of issues can be sorted. Mainly it allows you
to tell everyone in the medical chain that YOU are in fact the
parents. If you can get a 3 D scan – do so. That’ll knock ya
socks off. We have posted some updated tips for those who are
10 January 2007
Today we hit the 30 weeks mark. Phew! Anna
is going along well and is always happy and chatty when we speak
with here. She must be getting very uncomfortable but she never
says anything beyond saying she is losing a bit of sleep. Anna
and Nick have been wonderful in organising cots and car seats
for us at the Houston end. We will only need them for a short
time but we will need them there after we all leave the
hospital. We are busy organising the same and more at this end.
It’s hard but fun. For instance. You just don’t go out and
buy a pram. The range is endless. Today we purchased bottles,
bunny rugs and nappies. 400 nappies to be exact. Hey, they were
on special. Prams, cots and other hardware will have to wait, as
they need more research. But we will move on that within a week
in case the babies come early. We need to be set up here in case
we have to dash to Houston. We were lucky today to have a visit
from a good friend who had twins about 5 years ago. This was an
extremely good move, essential in fact. Also an essential thing
as it alerts everyone at the hospital to what exactly is going
on. Airfares were booked this week. We will arrive in the US
about ten days before the planned birth date in order to
increase our chances of being at an early birth. We will try to
take a short holiday close to Texas in order to be close to
Houston in case things happen early. Better to be a few hours
away then a few days.
27 March 2007
Well our twins were born on January 24
Our surrogate lost her mucus plug and Daniel and Leah were born
about a week later.
We got the call to come at 10am on the 24th, but they
were born 2 hours later.
We arrived at Texas Children Hospital 48 hours after the birth
and at last saw our beautiful children.
They were born at 32 weeks, 2 days.
Despite being disappointed that we missed the birth we are
delighted that they are both well and now back home with us in
We are enjoying being parents very much and wonder what we did
with our life before…..we certainly had more sleep I know
Good luck to all who go down the surrogacy path.
Yes - It IS worth it.
Doug & Brett have prepared some tips for those thinking about
surrogacy. Click here to read.