By Frank Golden
On April 15th, 2018 my team and I attended the Men Having Babies Chicago Expo. Golden Surrogacy was one of many providers participating in the event, and we were honored to do so. Men Having Babies is exactly what our agency stands for: family building and gay pride. I decided to share this blog and corresponding podcast with our listeners in honor of Pride Month which officially began on Friday, June 1st.
Men Having Babies is a nonprofit organization which provides information, resources, and financial assistance to gay men looking to start a family. The organization was founded in 2012 and has grown exponentially since its inception. Men Having Babies hosts expos in several cities throughout the nation and on an international level in other countries. As of right now, the organization focuses exclusively on surrogacy; they see a specific need to inform gay men on surrogacy and all of its intricacies; based on the complexity of surrogacy, I think it’s a crucial organization for the community.
The Men Having Babies expos are excellent resources for Intended Parents at all phases of their process. Some Intended Parents attend these events to speak with a specific agency, clinic, legal representative or other specific provider. These Intended Parents have already done their research and are beginning to narrow down their choices. I’m happy to say, that we’ve had several Intended Parents attend the Chicago Expo just to meet the Golden Surrogacy Team. They were able to meet us in person and get to know us as people which, more often than not, solidified their decision to sign with our agency. There are also Intended Parents who have a general understanding of the surrogacy process, but are looking for a more hands on learning experience; Men Having Babies Expos are the ideal place to accomplish this. More commonly, the Intended Parents attending these expos know very little about surrogacy and are using Men Having Babies as their first resource and point of research.
Another component of Men Having Babies, aside from the expos, information and support, is their financial assistance program. The altruistic program, Gay Parenting Assistance Program, or commonly referred to as GPAP, offers financial assistance to qualifying Intended Parents. Men Having Babies offers two phases of the program: phase one and phase two. Phase One offers qualifying Intended Parents discounted services from specific providers; As of right now, for Golden Surrogacy, the Phase One GPAP discount is ten percent, but that number is subject to change. Phase Two GPAP provides pro bono services from specific providers. We are currently one of the participating sponsors for Phase One GPAP. As a gay Intended Parent having gone through three surrogacy journeys, I understand the financial strain associated with surrogacy. At this point in my life, as my agency continues to flourish, I feel honored to be able to provide a bit of relief for Intended Parents who are overwhelmed by the financial component of surrogacy. If you’re interested in applying for GPAP, visit the Men Having Babies website at www.MenHavingBabies.org to fill out an application.
As a gay man and as an Intended Parent, I support Men Having Babies and believe that it’s a necessary resource for the growing community of gay parents. These expos provide so much more than information, resources, and financial assistance – they provide a sense of community and a safe place for gay parents to explore their options. Adam and I were lucky enough to start our family in a relatively liberal, forward thinking city. Many Intended Parents are not as lucky. Not only are these individuals struggling with the complexities of a surrogacy journey, they are struggling to find a place in their communities. They may feel completely alone. Men Having Babies ensures that all Intended Parents feel like part of a community, that they are amongst other individuals who understand them and what they’re going through. There’s no risk of judgment or isolation. There’s no risk of being shame or labeled as “different.” There is only acceptance, support, and immense progress for the gay community.
When Adam and I started our family 2010, we didn’t have Men Having Babies as a resource. We did not have easy access to all the necessary information. We had each other and our families, thankfully, but other than that, there were many times in which we felt alone. We didn’t know what questions to ask or where to turn to for answers. Men Having Babies is a solution for gay couples or gay single Intended Parents undergoing the same challenges as Adam and I did several years ago. Honestly, even though our journeys resulted in two beautiful, perfect children, I wish we had Men Having Babies as a resource for when we began our first journey – not just for the information, but for the sense of community the organization provides.
The Golden Surrogacy Team has attended every Chicago MHB expo for the last three years, and every year, it gets better. Every year there are more participants, more providers, and more hope. Every year I get excited to meet new Intended Parents and build professional relationships with other sponsoring providers. And this year was no different.
For more information on Men Having Babies, visit their website at www.menhavingbabies.org