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I always knew I wanted children, but getting there was quite the journey. As a gay man, I knew family building for me would include surrogacy, egg donation, and in vitro fertilization (IVF). There were so many barriers to overcome, but I’m grateful for every single step that led me to my amazing daughters.
My story begins in 2016. I was the first among my family and friends to pursue surrogacy, so I was completely naive about what to expect. The process was so confusing and overwhelming. I used a big agency the first time around, and they explained nothing. They had an in-house lawyer and gave me contracts to sign—but I didn’t know if they were really representing me or the agency. No one sat down with me and told me everything in plain terms. I had no idea that I would need 2 lawyers—1 lawyer for me and 1 lawyer for the surrogate—and I ended up paying for both. I then found out I had to buy insurance for our gestational carrier. I spent weeks researching. I lost track of the countless hours spent combing through websites, making a ton of phone calls, and writing emails back and forth to surrogate agencies just to get basic information like how long it would take, or all the costs involved.
No one sat down with me and told me everything in plain terms.
I also found it very difficult to find an egg donor. I had specific criteria that I was looking for, and each agency has a limited inventory, so I had to go to 4 different agencies before I found “the one.” I’ve now learned this is a common experience for many other intended parents, so if you’re going through it as well, I can relate!
Eventually, I found a well-established, full-service surrogacy agency with a strong track record, great reviews, and a team I could trust. Three months later, I matched with a wonderful gestational carrier. Everything really fell into place in June of 2018 with the birth of my amazing little Ariel.
I then met my husband, Mike, and we went through our second surrogacy together. After a much longer process with several difficult delays and setbacks, Ariel was promoted to big sister in 2021 and we welcomed our second daughter, Yael. We’re now working towards our third child. Throughout this process, we’ve found 2 amazing gestational carriers who we will love forever, and who we are still close with.
I had no idea how hard it would be. Everyone’s journey to parenthood is unique, and building a family as an LGBTQ+ couple can be a long and stressful process—but every bit of it is worth it in the end. Good luck!