You know – when I was a kid – you didn’t hear about gay men wanting to become fathers. There was so much to being a gay man in America – much of it was around basic survival in a society that was only beginning to offer acceptance. But now when I talk to young gay men – in their teens and twenties – becoming a father is as important to many of them as finding a good man to marry. Some in the LGBT world would call this the assimilation of gay men into “breeder culture”. I say hog wash. It’s simply evolution. When more opportunities are possible – people expand their desires.
To me it is about wanting the very natural and simple human connections of a life partner, children and family. Who says that gay men and women for that matter are not entitled to that if they want that? But there are people in the straight world – that don’t want to support gay marriage – or gay family building – and there are people in the gay world who view gay men who are creating families as “assimilators” or “Breeders”. My, we are a tough room to play – us humans. Don’t you think?
The world of gay male reproduction is a bit more complicated than most straight couples – infertile or fertile – or lesbian couples. Yes – of course they come with plenty of sperm (in most cases), but it is the need for eggs and a surrogate that ups the ante for them. It’s not just the emotional ante – it’s the legal and financial toll as well. Gay men who enter this world need a lot of support in so many ways.
They need to be able to afford to go through an extensive process of screening, finding a surrogate and an egg donor – as well as doing their family building in a state that will support their rights to the child once the baby is born. California has been the most popular place for gay men who use surrogacy to build their families – and in the east coast – New Jersey and Connecticut. But many still feel that California has the most protective laws for gay men building their families through surrogacy.
There are many surrogate and egg donation agencies that work with reproductive endocrinologists – the choices that gay men have now in who they work with are extensive. Often – straight doctors who are very happy to provide the services that gay men need to build their families.
But what I love – is when a well known gay man – who is known in the “straight” community as an exemplary reproductive endocrinologist for all people - comes out to help other gay men build their families. To me – that is something really special. Dr. Guy E. Ringler of California Fertility Partners recently profiled in The Fertility Race helping “Two Men and a Baby” is one of those men. They even have “Gay Family Building” on their tool bar on their website.
To me – that is evolution. Side by side with straight and lesbian couples – gay men are now building their families – and the slang “Gay Daddy” has come to have an entirely different meaning. Now it means “Father”.