Surrogacy and Other Paths to Gay Parenthood

In my previous post, I have alluded to discussions I have had with people extremely critical of us as gay parents through surrogacy. My position is that while questionable surrogacy practices do exist, problematic situations can often be avoided by intended parents who proceed with caution, and prevented by government with regulation that better protects the babies, the surrogates, and the intended parents. I believe that surrogacy when done right can be a positive experience for all involved.

With that said, I recognize and respect the many different paths to parenthood, which can be quite varied for LGBT people from adoption to surrogacy to co-parenting. We recently contributed our story to a book about these many paths to gay parenthood. We are pleased to announce that the book has been picked up by a publisher and will be released next year! I encourage any LGBT people considering their many options in becoming parents to check out the Author website at: http://www.ericrosswood.com/

Taking a fair and balanced view of surrogacy is important

Taking a fair and balanced view of surrogacy is important

Love Wins, Hate Loses, and Life Goes On…

Notorious RBG is my hero!

Notorious RBG is my hero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the months leading up to this momentous day in history, I have engaged in an increasingly rancorous dialogue online debating marriage equality. Opponents of marriage equality, some of whom profess to be civil and respectful, escalated their political statements into personal attacks against me and my family calling me “sick,” “criminal” and likening me as a gay parent through surrogacy to a rapist, a human trafficker or a child abuser. This type of defamation enraged me, but Josh and some other wise souls helped me realize that what I was experiencing was the last, bitter, fitful and truly impotent gasps of a hateful movement sliding into the wrong side of history. I needed to disengage, because they couldn’t touch us, and our contented lives would go on regardless.

After the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed marriage equality in all 50 states this morning at 10 a.m., what was next? A co-worker congratulated me. I spoke with Josh on the phone and discussed what to pick up at the grocery store. I came home and put on my Ruth Bader Ginsburg t-shirt in celebration. The boys spent some time in the pool while the babies played with cars and balls on the patio. I will cook Shabbat dinner for our family, and we will be extra thankful for our blessings today. After we put all four kids to bed, Josh and I will probably crack open a bottle of wine and share a toast. Our lives will go on largely unchanged, but maybe someday soon, we will get legally married and add an extra sheen of dignity to our already happy lives.

What’s next for the hateful opponents of marriage equality? Many of them were howling on Twitter about what they saw as an injustice today, but it didn’t appear that many people were listening or responding. I imagine that their lives will go on, too. The fact that their LGBT neighbors will be permitted to marry will have no bearing on their lives whatsoever. It won’t touch them. Many of them will realize that society did not crumble because of marriage equality like they predicted it would. Some of them may live long enough to read in the history books about their shameful movement and feel a twinge of guilt for having been a part of it. Even if they never come to this wisdom, I will try not to be resentful toward them. People who choose to waste so much time and energy fussing about other people’s lives and not their own deserve pity, not hate.

Summer Begins

Last weekend, we celebrated the end of the school year with a trip to Orlando.  AJ and JJ were excited to visit Universal Studios to see the Harry Potter attraction on Friday.  The whole family (with nanny Pat and her son) got to experience Gay Days at Magic Kingdom on the customary first Saturday of June.  DJ and MJ got to meet the “mouf” that is featured on their diapers at Epcot Sunday.  We had a great weekend and were glad that we even got to spend some time with some other gay dads we have met and become friendly with over the last year.

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Crisis in Nepal

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A major earthquake hit Nepal last weekend.  Thousands have died, and many remain in peril amongst the ruins.  My thoughts are with the people of Nepal and I hope they are able to recover with the help of the international community.

After surrogacy in India and Thailand was shut down, international surrogacy shifted to Nepal.  Disasters like this highlight the lengths many intended parents are willing to go, the risks they take venturing far from home in effort to have children.

A group of Israeli parents through surrogacy and their babies are being airlifted out of Nepal back to Israel.  Most of these parents are gay because Israel only permits domestic IVF and surrogacy for opposite sex couples.  In the future, I hope that domestic surrogacy expands for gays in places like Israel and Australia, so that people who prefer to go through this process closer to home have the option to do so.

Super Nanny

We met our awesome nanny Pat through serendipity.  Josh’s mother Phyllis can be quite gregarious and will strike up a conversation with just about anybody.  About 8 years ago, before JJ and AJ were born, she met a woman strolling in the mall with what appeared to be triplets.  It turned out that Pat was a nanny for these twin boys and their brother who was one year older.  Phyllis told Pat all about her son who was expecting twin boys in a few months.  Pat said that she was actually going to be looking for a job soon because the three boys in her care would be moving out of state.  Phyllis wisely took Pat’s phone number for future reference.

When the boys were born, we foolishly tried to manage things on our own.  Even though we both had full time jobs, we figured because we worked different hours we would each be able to juggle the babies in our off hours while the other was working.  AJ and JJ’s prematurity made feeding more complicated than most babies, and we found ourselves beginning to lose our sanity after the first three or four months.

Phyllis saved the day by introducing us to Pat, and the rest is history.  Pat helped out with AJ and JJ in the daytime Monday to Friday up until they were three years old and ready for preschool.  When we told Pat that we were expecting DJ and MJ, she came right back and was ready to start as soon as they came back from India.  The kids all affectionately call her “Tatie” which means “Auntie” in Haitian Creole.  Including the boys she took care of previously, Pat has cared for three sets of twins, probably making her the most experienced twin nanny in the world!