Frank, Adam, and Sophia- 2016

Surviving Mother’s Day as a Gay Dad

By Frank Golden

Going into parenthood as a gay man, I understood that my children would have an upbringing different than other children and different than my own.  There were things I just didn’t consider, things that heterosexual parents don’t have to think about. Mother’s Day is one of those things. For us, Mother’s Day is not the celebration of our children’s mother; they don’t have one in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, Mother’s Day is the celebration of their family. Our children are being raised with two dads. For the most part, being a gay family has been natural. On certain occasions, though, we are reminded of how truly unique our family is.

When we enrolled Sophia in daycare, Mother’s Day was not on our radar. We emotionally and financially prepared for our family, much like other families. We also prepared for the adversities our family might face. We were prepared for it all- except for Mother’s Day. It was just one of those things you don’t think about as a new parent, but as your child grows and learns, so do you. And once Sophia and her classmates were old enough, the daycare addressed Mother’s Day, and as a class, they made gifts for their moms. I should say, most of them made gifts for their moms. Our daughter did not.

Read more

Frank and Silas

Getting Through Failed Transfers

By Frank Golden

My personal path to parenthood has not been easy. This is partly because I’m a gay male, but even more so because of the life circumstances leading up to the creation of my family. I went through a period in my life, an exceptionally melancholy period, in which I questioned my meaning, my purpose in this thing called life. I had recently lost a series of close family members and friends. And after my brother’s unexpected death, I fell into a particularly deep depression. My mom and I were the sole survivors of our entire family; we only had each other, and our bond grew strong. In my mom’s eyes, I saw such sadness and such love. Her’s were the eyes of a parent in mourning. I knew then that it was my responsibility to have a child, to carry on our bloodline. This period of my life, albeit painful, changed the way I viewed the world, and ultimately led me to where I am today.

When I met Adam, I made it clear that I wanted a family. For gay couples, and for all couples, really, this is a conversation that needs to happen. As our relationship got more serious, I began thoroughly researching Surrogacy. My mind was set: we were going to create a family, and we were going to do it with the help of a Surrogate. I wanted to expand my lineage, not as an attempt to recreate my brother, but as an attempt to honor his memory. Most of all, I wanted to do it for my mom and for the son she lost.

Read more

Bridget's Family

Telling My Kids I’m a Surrogate

By Bridget Bolthouse

I’ve always had a passion for family. My husband and I have five children all under the age of 11. I love everything about motherhood. This is not to say that things don’t get a bit hectic at times- because they do. It’s just that the love I feel for my family is beyond anything else, and I can’t imagine life without it. I feel blessed to be a mother, a parent. And really, parenthood is just that- a blessing. I want to bless deserving individuals with their own families. I want them to feel the love I feel every day. Becoming a Surrogate was an obvious choice.

My husband, Adam was the first person I told about my desire to become a Surrogate.  We’ve always had an honest relationship based on strong communication. A few years ago, Adam was in the military and was away from our family. Even then, we managed to maintain our communication. We make all decisions as a team, and this decision was no different. Adam had questions and concerns, as did I. We carefully researched and discussed every aspect of Surrogacy prior to coming to a decision. With our questions answered and our concerns addressed, we began getting excited for the journey ahead of us. Adam firmly believed, and still does, that being a Surrogate is my calling. I wholeheartedly agree with him.

As parents, Adam and I cannot make decisions without the consent of our children. We wouldn’t allow for our actions to upset or confuse them. Beyond anything else, their feelings mattered. Adam and I sat down with the kids for a family talk. We began by explaining that some families need help getting started. We explained that because we love our family so much, we want to help other families grow. We told them that I could help by growing a baby in my tummy. My kids were interested and wanted to know if the baby was going to live with us, or essentially, if the baby was going to be their new sibling. We explained that the baby would not live with us nor would it be their sibling, that it would live with its family. We reminded them that mommy is going to grow a baby in her belly for a different family, not ours. We discussed the types of situations in which a family might need help. We explained that some families have two dads, or a single dad. We told them about moms who are unable to carry their own babies. We enjoy opening our children’s minds to all kinds of possibilities and all kinds of love.

Read more

Frank's Family

Telling Your Child They’re a Surro-baby

By Frank Golden

I often get asked the question, “How did you or how will you tell your children that they were born via Surrogacy?” For me, the answer is easy: I’ve made it a natural part of my children’s lives from day one. My husband, Adam and I have always been open about our Surrogacy Journeys with friends and family; that openness translates into how we’re raising our children as Surro-babies.

Our daughter, Sophia, was about one and a half years old when we began reading her children’s books dedicated to Surrogacy. Two of our favorites are “Sophia’s Broken Crayons” by Crystal Falk and “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson. These books were helpful in explaining our unique family to Sophia. Our son, Silas, will also be exposed to these books once he’s a bit older. The fact that there are children’s books dedicated to Surrogacy gives me hope that gay families and Surro-families are starting to become more integrated into “the norm.”   Read more

hands

The Relationship between Intended Parents and Surrogates

By Frank Golden

The experience of going through a surrogacy journey is life changing. A bond is formed between a woman and a couple or individual, whose ultimate life-paths would probably have never crossed if not for surrogacy. At Golden Surrogacy, we encourage a strong relationship to be fostered between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate and continue well after the baby is born. It is our role as an agency to help form that cohesive relationship, which will hopefully last a lifetime.

Together, with my husband Adam, we have been through three surrogacy journeys with three different Surrogates over the course of five years. Two of the women lived out of state, while one of them lived in-state about an hour away. However, the distance did not stop us from forming great relationships with our Surrogates. We sent them gifts, celebrated milestones together, and communicated via text multiple times throughout the week. I believe that every surrogacy journey is what you make of it. Even though we had to manage those obvious geographical barriers, we made everything memorable for us. Adam and I felt it was important for our Surrogates to feel welcomed into our lives, so we treated them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Now that we have our own agency, we expect our Intended Parent(s) to treat their Surrogate in the same manner.

At Golden Surrogacy, the relationship between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate begins during the onboarding stage. We gather information from each party by having them fill out a profile discussing their infertility struggles, desire to become a Surrogate, family, upbringing, etc. When we match the two parties, we look for commonalities. For example, a Surrogate that grew up in a town where an Intended Parent used to live. We find ways in which they can form a bond, but also consider how well their personalities would mesh together.

Read more

IVF Clinic Referrals

By: Frank Golden

At Golden Surrogacy, we work with only the best IVF clinics in each region. There are key elements we strongly consider before making a referral. When our clients come to us asking which IVF clinic they should use, we try to guide them towards the best option for their specific journey and requirements.

One main factor we determine prior to a referral would be, who is the lead RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist)? We prefer to work with clinics whose lead fertility specialist is known in the surrogacy community for having great statistics, service, and support. Although, the statistical information is taken with a grain of salt, often times success can rest heavily on the quality of genetic material used to create the embryo. We place more value on how each doctor takes care of their patients. During this exciting, yet nerve-racking life experience it is vitally important that the medical team demonstrate a sense of genuine compassion and warmth.

Read more

Five-year Anniversary of Embryo Transfer

This past weekend, Frank and Adam celebrated the five-year anniversary (02/11/2012) of  their very first life-changing embryo transfer. There are no words to express how grateful they are to the Surrogate and Egg Donor who helped bring their beautiful daughter Sophia into this world! 

Read more

Evolving Surrogate Base Compensation

By: Frank Golden

With the first successful gestational surrogate pregnancy, having been roughly 30 years ago, surrogacy as a family building method remains a relatively new concept in the medical field. Regardless of this fact, the demand is quite large. About 750 babies are born each year using gestational surrogacy. As I mentioned in my last podcast, our Intended Parent inquiries have been through the roof and we have onboarded quite a few Intended Parents since the new year. We are given the privileged task of recruiting the perfect Surrogate for them, but also trusted to ensure the Surrogate’s compensation is fair and reasonable for all parties in an arrangement.

Read more

medical records

Surrogate Medical Records and Chain of Custody

By: Frank Golden

Throughout my years operating Golden Surrogacy, I have noticed many agencies, big and small, having surrogate applicants request their own medical records. There are so many red flags that go off in my head when contemplating these actions. This method is often chosen because it can reduce the agency’s case load and is more expedient during the on-boarding phase. However, I must caution, going this route does create the potential for fraud to occur.

I have witnessed situations where surrogate applicants will apply and send us their medical records they already have on file. In some cases, applicants have even omitted very crucial pieces of information. At Golden Surrogacy, we always conduct our due diligence and collect all medical records ourselves, even if the applicant sends us past records. If agencies collect records directly from the applicant, it is possible that their records may not be entirely accurate, and approval could be determined based on the false premise that they are healthy and capable to carry a full-term pregnancy when in fact they may not be able to do so.

Read more

blog-2-graphic

Celebrities Talk Infertility

By: Frank Golden

Last week Ellen Pompeo announced the birth of her third child with husband Chris Ivery. Pompeo gave birth to her first child, while her second was born via surrogate. It is unknown how her third, Eli Christopher, joined the family but it could likely be via surrogate.

Pompeo spoke on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about her surrogacy journey saying, “This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone’s child. I am forever grateful and feel very blessed and grateful to her.”

Ellen’s news and her speaking out about her journey made me think about the amount of celebrities who have also spoken about their own surrogacy or IVF journeys. Some celebrities who have had a child via surrogate include Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John, Tyra Banks, Jimmy Fallon, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman. Recently, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Maria Menounos, Celine Dion, and Real Housewives Meghan King Edmonds have been vocal about the success and disappointment of their IVF treatments. Olivia Munn has also been open about freezing her eggs, while Kim Kardashian was in the process of having her eggs frozen when she became pregnant with North West.

Read more