“So cute! Where’s her mom?”

While the world has evolved from the traditional “mother and father” family, we still have a lot of work to do for gay parents. Adam and I gave birth to our baby girl in late November 2019 through surrogacy. We had an amazing experience working with Circle Surrogacy through the whole process. Through egg donor selection and retrieval, surrogate selections, 9-months, etc, we managed to have a smooth process and deliver a baby girl.

While the process felt so normal to us being a gay couple, we now had a baby girl as well as a world knocking on our door, asking questions and even saying “Where her mom?”.

When we first started the process of IVF with RMA-CT with Dr. Mark Leondires. He’s an amazing doctor who like us, started a family with his partner years ago. Given his experience, we were all ears on any advice to bring a child into the world.

One of the first questions, you’ll get from people are “Who is the dad?”. Dr Leondires gave us an amazing suggestion very early on. Don’t find out whose DNA is being born. If you don’t know who that “father” is, then you can’t answer the question, he said. (Of course, he knows and if and when we want to find out we can.)

So we took his advice! Adam and I both, as gay parents, were able to create a total of 16 viable embryos. When it came time to implant an embryo, we told Dr Leondires we did not want to know the gender or DNA. We just wanted a healthy child.

Our baby was born via our (amazing, awesome, special, friend) surrogate, via surrogacy for gay couples, in Little Rock. Once we were discharged from the hospital, we expected to answer questions about our new family. We were pleasantly surprised.

Our Extended Stay Hotel: We stayed in an extended stay hotel due to the process of pre-, during and post- birth. Every single worker in that hotel was extremely excited for us two and did everything they could to help us out.

5am in Little Rock Airport: We decided to take an early flight home. A man from Little Rock, who was an older, country gentlemen came up to me and said “she’s so cute, where’s her mommy?”. I simply mentioned she actually has same sex parents. He was delighted and walk away.

Our Pediatrician Nurse: We were going to our 2 week appointment when we were asked 3 times who the mother was for paperwork purposes. The question came about because they needed paperwork from the hospital she was born in, but we were able to explain that the baby was checked into the hospital at birth under our name under same sex parents. She thought it was an adoption.

I don’t give these stories because I’m upset. I give them because Adam and I have made the decision to go into every conversation as a teaching moment. No, a child of gay parents having 2 dads is not a new concept, but it’s happening more and more. Unless the question or statement has a tone that needs to be questioned, we assume the individual just does not know and has no hatred in their heart. So far, we’ve been lucky.

It’s ok to say “we’re both the dads” or “our family does not have a mom”. You will be surprised how many people will embrace your story and/or leave you alone.

I hope your experience may or may not be like ours, but please do share your story below so we can all learn from each other!

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