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That's when we knew we had to meet our egg donor—to personalize her and the process. It turned out there were not a lot of women out there like Samantha—whose eggs, because of her exceptional background, came at a far higher price than most. Fortunately, she was still available a few months later and agreed to meet the couple in person. They hit it off over dinner, and Samantha agreed to be their donor.
Then they needed to find a woman to carry the baby. The ideal surrogate is a woman in a stable living situation who already has children of her own and whose pregnancies were complication-free. This both establishes the surrogate's biological fitness to successfully carry a child and also reduces the chances of her trying to keep the child. Melissa served as Stephen and Mark's surrogate. Now thirty-seven, she lives in southern California with her husband and their two children. She first learned about surrogacy several years ago from a friend who'd been one herself.
Deciding to work with Stephen and Mark, with whom she felt immediate chemistry, was easy; the next stage of the process—hormone treatment—proved far more challenging. The injections Melissa had to take—for eight weeks before the embryo transfer and ten weeks after—made her tired and moody. The first embryo transfer didn't succeed, so she had to go through the hormone process again. The second was followed by a miscarriage. And I felt I was letting Mark and Stephen down.
The third time, in , proved the charm. Stephen and Mark stayed in touch with Melissa throughout the pregnancy. They flew down to southern California to attend her medical appointments. She sent the couple photos of herself and always used the "we" pronoun in her correspondence—"We are showing!
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When Melissa entered the time period during which she was due, Stephen and Mark went to southern California, where they stayed for ten days before she gave birth. The delivery went smoothly, and they took their son, Oliver, home after just one night in the hospital. Melissa did not have a hard time giving up the baby. This baby does not have my DNA. I felt more like an auntie, a protector. Whether two fathers can appear on a child's birth certificate varies from one jurisdiction to the next. In some places, the surrogate's name will appear on the birth certificate, so after the child is born, the surrogate must legally renounce her parental rights and the nongenetic father must legally adopt the child.
Stephen and Mark were able to get a "pre-birth order," which allowed Melissa to give up her parental rights. When Oliver was born, Stephen's and Mark's names were both on his birth certificate. His two proud dads were officially documented dads, too. Length of journey: Almost three years and counting. Like Zach and me, our friends Andrew and Christopher attended a Men Having Babies expo a few months after they got married.
They were struck by how manageable the conference made the process of biological parenting seem. About a year later, in the fall of , they signed with a surrogacy agency. Six months later, the agency presented them with their first possible match. She seemed fine on paper, but when they spoke to her and her husband by phone, she was shy and reticent; her husband seemed more enthusiastic than she did.
How Two Men Make a Baby
They passed. A few weeks later, the agency presented them with a second match. They spoke over the phone and connected; all three decided to move forward. Then Andrew and Christopher had to pick an egg donor. The clinic they chose gave them the opportunity to specify requirements or preferences, everything from ethnic background to height to SAT scores. But they decided to focus on personality above all else and chose a dark-haired Caucasian woman who talked in her video profile about the books she liked to read and the mural she had painted on the wall of her child's bedroom.
Andrew and Chris were struck by how achievable the conference made the process of biological parenting seem. Instead of letting them go to waste, why don't I give them to someone who needs them? A few months after her son was born, Danielle connected with a fertility clinic and agreed to become an egg donor. Before each donation, she must inject hormones into her abdomen to stimulate egg production—"which sounds terrible, but it's painless," she says. She has donated six times so far, and her seventh is in August. Several of her donations have resulted in pregnancies, including one set of twins.
Some of the couples send her pictures of their children. She has worked with couples from France and Denmark; the couple she'll be donating to in August is Israeli. After Danielle's eggs were fertilized in the summer of , the first transfer of Andrew and Christopher's embryos to the surrogate didn't work.
They had to wait a few months for the surrogate's body to reset. They tried a second transfer. That didn't work, either. They waited some more. In February , they tried a third time. Still no luck. Getting the news was painful each time.
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Christopher was the clinic's point of contact, so he got called with the results each time. And then I'd have to call and tell Andrew, and then my mom. Everyone was so sad. But they didn't allow the setbacks to affect their determination to finish the journey. It's a privilege, and I'm aware of that when I think of everything we have gone through. Andrew and Christopher didn't allow the setbacks to affect their drive to finish this journey.
Andrew and Christopher decided to ask the agency for a new surrogate. The agency was happy to oblige—so long as they paid a second set of fees and dropped back down to the bottom of the waiting list. Instead, they switched agencies and linked up with Carrie, their new surrogate they've kept the same fertility clinic and Danielle as their egg donor.
As for Zach and me, our journey is in a holding pattern. We are still waiting on a surrogate, though we received an optimistic email from Worldwide Agency in May: Apparently we're among the top five couples on the list.
What Is a Surrogate Mother?
We also need to find an egg donor. After speaking to her doctor and learning about the side effects of the required hormone therapy, Zach's friend from law school decided that she couldn't take the risk. We were disappointed when she told us, but of course we understood. Although Zach and I want children soon, we recognize that finding the right surrogate and egg donor is more important than finding them quickly.
So we are waiting—along with Stephen and Mark now trying for a sibling for Oliver , Andrew and Christopher, and other gay couples across the country. We're all at different stages of our journey, but we share the dream of becoming biological parents. Given what's required for two men to become dads—considerable financial resources, one woman willing to donate her eggs, another willing to carry a child for nine months—we realize this waiting is a problem we're lucky to have.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement that says there are more similarities than differences in the way homosexuals and heterosexuals raise their children, and that children are just as well adjusted in families of gay parents as they are when brought up in heterosexual families.
The goal of BSC is to give the opportunity of becoming parents to all couples and singles regardless of their sexuality, race, age or religious preferences. You will be provided with support throughout the pregnancy and on-going for as long as you need it. Our highly qualified team will help advise with issues you face once you are at home with your baby should you require it. We will provide any written reports on your surrogacy arrangement that you might need at a later date for parental orders.
mostripererol.tk Every Intended Parent is special and unique, and we will treat you with the respect that you deserve. From the moment you start working with BSC America, you will be assigned an individual team specialist. He or she will meet with you at your home to take you through the initial paperwork. At this time, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have thought of since your first meeting. The BSC specialist will ask you some personal questions about your living arrangements so that this information can be included in your file and shared with your surrogate or egg donor if need be.