Launch Day and Book Review

Today is the official launch day of Eric Rosswood’s new book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood.  I was able to receive an advance copy and wrote a glowing review for it on Amazon.  Of course, I am somewhat biased given the fact that I contributed our family story to this collection of personal stories about gay and lesbian parents.

With that said and having now read the entire book, I think Eric Rosswood did a marvelous job. I really do wish a book like this existed when Josh and I were originally considering our options for family building.

It is very well organized into five sections covering different paths to parenthood for same sex couples: Open Adoption, Foster Care, Surrogacy, Assisted Reproduction, and Co-Parenting. Each section includes multiple representative firsthand stories by gay and lesbian people that went through it themselves. Each story takes you on an emotional roller coaster toward parenthood that keeps your attention while at the same time informing you of the highs and lows that may occur along the way. I think that same sex couples hoping to have children will have better understanding of practical issues, but especially the emotional complexities that come with each approach after reading these personal stories. Other books may focus on a single approach, or read more like a clinical manual. This book is warm and intimate.

For the detail oriented, the end of the book comes complete with multiple appendices that comment on legal issues, benefits and challenges, and questions to ask yourself when considering each of the five different paths to parenthood.

I encourage any gay or lesbian couples interested in pursuing parenthood to check this book out today!

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Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood

Coming March 2016

Coming March 2016

We are excited to share our family story in an upcoming book by Eric Rosswood to be published in March of 2016!  “Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: First Hand Advice, Tips and Stories From Lesbian and Gay Couples” is organized into five sections describing these different paths to parenthood for same sex couples: Adoption, Foster Care, Assisted Reproduction, Surrogacy and Co-Parenting.  We contributed our family story to the part on surrogacy.  Each section includes personal stories like ours as well as an appendix with legal issues and questions to ask before pursuing each family building approach.  We are excited to read other family stories and think prospective LGBT parents will find this resource informative and inspirational.  The book is available for pre-order on Amazon now.  Check it out!

About MJ and DJ

MJ and DJ are our second set of twins born through surrogacy.  A few years ago Josh and I started talking about the idea of having more children.  We thought it would be nice to have a girl to break up all the testosterone in the house, and it would also be an opportunity for the non-donor partner from our last surrogacy experience to make a genetic contribution to our family.  Because of the economy and our finances at the time, international surrogacy seemed the way to go this time around.  We researched our options and decided to look into an agency and a clinic operating in India.

The next step in our plan was to travel to Mumbai, India to see for ourselves.  We visited the clinic and were presented with some options for prospective surrogates.  We personally met and chose to work with Pavitra because she was experienced having served as a surrogate previously.  Regardless of language barrier, we knew that Pavitra understood exactly what kind of process she was getting involved with because she had done it once before.  We knew that we would not have the close relationship with Pavitra like we did with our first surrogate, but the financial benefit for Pavitra and her family in India’s economy would be life changing.  The beaming smile on Pavitra’s face when she learned we had chosen her told us everything we needed to know.

When we did IVF in India, we asked for the doctor to transfer two embryos instead of the standard three because we were trying to aim for a singleton.  As fate would have it, two embryos implanted anyway and we had a second set of twins on our hands!  Because of laws against sex selection in India, we did not know the if we had boys, girls or both until their birth.  Baby girl DJ was delivered first via c-section and baby boy MJ arrived moments later.  MJ and DJ were born during a period of change in the surrogacy industry of India, and this complicated and prolonged the process that ultimately allowed MJ and DJ to come home to the US one month after their birth.  After we left, the door seems to have slammed shut for gay couples seeking surrogacy in India.  Thailand and Nepal have followed suit in the years since, and we do not recommend international surrogacy at this time.

MJ has a name that is the masculinization of Josh’s grandmother that died a few years before.  DJ is named after a pop culture icon.  It is a name I have been saving for my daughter since before AJ and JJ were born!  DJ is a bit of a fashionista.  She insists on choosing her own outfits out of the closet proclaiming them to be “cute!”  She is partial to clothes with her favorite characters Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty.  MJ has a voice that carries and honestly was singing before he could talk.  He started out with “ABC” and “Twinkle Twinkle” but has begun to branch out into singing along to pop tunes on the car radio.

Baby girl DJ on the left and baby boy MJ on the right shortly after their birth

DJ and MJ shortly after their birth

2nd Birthday cupcakes

2nd Birthday cupcakes

 

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.

#BoycottDolceGabbana

Their fashion may be cutting edge, but their opinions are from the dark ages.

Their fashion may be cutting edge, but their opinions are from the dark ages.

Last week, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana gave an interview and made comments that prove gay people can be haters just like anybody else.

“We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one.”

“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”

Dolce added that procreation “must be an act of love”, saying: “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.
“I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”

Gabbana added: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”

After Elton John started a twitter campaign to #BoycottDolceGabbana over the weekend, now Dolce and Gabbana are trying to walk back there comments claiming that they were just speaking on their own experience and not judging others.

Gabbana said in a statement Sunday that “it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”

Dolce says he was expressing his view about family based on his experience growing up in a traditional Sicilian family “made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.”

Dolce said he was expressing his personal views “without judging other people’s choices.”

Guys, don’t bother.  There is no way your global statements last week against gay adoptions, “synthetic” IVF and non-traditional families can be interpreted as non-judgmental.  You called Elton John unintelligent today and you must think there are lots of other stupid people that will accept your feeble explanations.  And no apology will ever reverse the damage that has been done with your offensive statements.  You have lost customers for life.  Just like I have walked past Barilla pasta on sale dozens of times and then paid more for other brands, I will never buy another item from your brand ever again.  Now that you have exercised your right to speak your mind, I will be exercising my rights as a consumer and choose to give my money to better people.  Instead of spending all this energy toward damage control, your time would probably be better spent designing a line for the paragons of fashion NOM staffers that share your philosophy.

NOM Founder Maggie Gallagher dressed like this on national television. Maybe she'll buy D&G

NOM Founder Maggie Gallagher dressed like this on national television. Maybe she’ll buy D&G