By Frank Golden

It’s official: I love camp. Last year, Adam and I took our family to CampOut Family Camp, a camp for LGBTQ Families. We had the time of our lives, and decided to do it all over again this year. It was the same amazing experience: the activities, the counselors, the campfires, the joy. This time, however, we were amongst familiar faces, faces we saw last year, faces we have gotten to know. Attending an LGBTQ camp is enough to make you feel like part of a community, but this year, we were part of the CampOut community, and we were honored to be included.

CampOut Family Camp is a summer camp experience for LGBTQ Families. This year, CampOut took place from August 17th- August 20th. During the rest of the summer, the camp grounds are used to accommodate hundreds of children in an overnight camp program lasting two, four, or eight weeks. My husband, Adam attended the camp for eight years when he was child. For Adam, attending CampOut was a mix of new experiences and nostalgia. He remembered the camp grounds and the fun he had, and now as an adult and as a gay man, he got the opportunity to experience the same fun with his family.

Last year, our first year at CampOut, the entire experience was a whirlwind. I was overwhelmed with the idea of being surrounded by other LGBTQ Families. I was enthralled with the idea of attending camp for the very first time – as a child, I never went to camp. I was excited, overjoyed, and anxious to get familiar with the camp experience. This year, I returned to camp as an experience camper; I was prepared for the entire camp experience, and as a result, I was able to savor every activity, every moment. I am not an outdoorsy person. You won’t find me “roughing it” in the woods. You won’t find me hunting, fishing, or hiking on a regular basis. However, for one weekend a year, I transform into a person who loves it all. I love the water activities, the crafts, the campfires. I love the dirt, the sweat, and the smell of nature. Read more


By Frank Golden

I’ve been a surrogacy agency owner for the last several years of my life. Prior to that, I was an Intended Parent anxiously awaiting the arrival of our children. I remember the anxiety I felt when I first met our Surrogate. I remember quickly learning to love our Surrogate. And I remember quickly learning to fully trust our Surrogate to take care of our baby while it was growing and waiting for its arrival into the world. Next to parenthood, it’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. Trusting anyone with your children is scary. Trusting a new addition to your life is frightening.

Going into our first surrogacy journey, I felt a sense of control. As a gay man, making the choice to start a family feels like you’re taking control of your life and making dreams come true for yourself. And in a sense, that’s completely accurate. During the initial phases of a surrogacy journey, Intended Parents are in control. We choose our agency, we set our expectations, we commit to the financial obligations. It wasn’t until we were matched that everything shifted. Once our Surrogate was involved, that sense of control was transferred to our Surrogate. It was up to her to maintain a healthy diet, to attend appointments, to avoid anything that might harm our baby. Once our Surrogate was pregnant, she was in control. We had no choice but to relinquish that control over to her.

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By Frank Golden

Surrogacy journeys are exciting. They embody hope, joy, and in many cases, pride. They can also embody anxiety and a sense of uncertainty. For many Intended Parents, their anxiety doesn’t involve the surrogacy agreement, legal documents, or building a relationship with their surrogate. For many Intended Parents, their biggest source of anxiety is the pregnancy itself. We’ve noticed that, in particular, many of our gay Intended Parents aren’t fully aware of what pregnancy entails and what each stage looks like.  While we aren’t gynecologists or medical professionals, we do have an understanding of pregnancy and what it entails. In this blog, we are going to give a general explanation of “What to Expect when Your Surrogate is Expecting.” The surrogacy process is multi-layered and complex as it is. If we can remove some anxiety by educating our Intended Parents on pregnancy, then we’ve done our job as a surrogacy agency, and I’ve done my job as a former Intended Parent.

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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.

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By Frank Golden

I remember a time when I had no idea what Surrogacy was or what it entailed. I remember being a young gay man with intentions to start a family. I remember meeting Adam and knowing that he was the man I would start my life with. I remember learning about Surrogacy in more detail. I remember when Adam and I decided to pursue Surrogacy. I remember trying to answer questions, questions that I didn’t even know to ask. I remember being overwhelmed, stressed, excited, and at times, frustrated. Surrogacy has so many moving parts, and I didn’t know where to begin. I had no reference of what a Surrogacy Journey looked like, or what factors were important to consider. Many of our Intended Parents are on a similar page as I was several years ago. I remember what it felt like to be in their shoes, and I want to help them better understand Surrogacy and the journey ahead of them.

This blog is intended to provide IPs with a general overview of the Surrogacy process. There is so much information available in the media, online, through friends; it can very quickly get overwhelming. This blog is intended to provide a general overview of Surrogacy basics. I don’t normally write blogs in Q&A form, but for this particular blog, I think it’s appropriate.

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By Frank Golden

We’re in a changing world. It’s interesting- as gay marriage became legal and more gay couples are getting married, heterosexual couples are delaying marriage or may reject the concept of marriage entirely. It’s not an issue of causation, not by any means. It’s just that we’re becoming a more liberal world. The notion of marriage might seem outdated to heterosexual, Cisgendered young women and men, but seems bright and exciting for gay couples. I’m overjoyed to be a part of this world; albeit scary, it’s becoming more tolerable for unique family structures.

This leads me to the purpose, or the subject of this blog: Choosing a Last Name for Your Family. As I mentioned before, this subject pertains to many individuals. I’m writing from the perspective of a gay man, but I encourage you to apply this blog to your life, regardless of your personal story.

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By Frank Golden

Immediately before and immediately after we ring in the new year, our agency experiences a flux of inquiries from potential Intended Parents. In celebration of a new year, many individuals and couples make resolutions to start their families. For same-sex couples, single parents, and couples who are unable to carry a pregnancy, Surrogacy may be the key to starting their family.

Starting a Surrogacy journey is overwhelming. There are so many questions to ask, so many pieces of information to gather, so many different agencies, different options, different opinions. It’s a lot. I remember when Adam and I started our first journey. We didn’t know anything about Surrogacy; we didn’t know about IVF, embryos, PGS testing, monitoring appointments, or anything else relating to Surrogacy. We did our research, but with something as complex as a Surrogacy journey, blind research can make things even more overwhelming. We didn’t even know what questions to ask. All we knew was that we wanted a family and we knew that the only way for us to have children with our genetics was through Surrogacy. Many Intended Parents start in a similar place as we did six years ago- a bit lost, confused, and ready for answers. I speak with many Intended Parents, each of them unique with their own personalities, stories, and expectations. Often, as we’re nearing the end of our consultation call, Intended Parents ask me this one question: what next? It’s a critical question and one that deserves a well-thought out answer.

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CampOut LGTB Camp
By Frank Golden

Summer camp was not part of my childhood experience. For Adam, it was. Every summer, for four weeks, Adam attended Greenwoods Camp in Decatur, Michigan. Camp consisted of kayaking, canoeing, eating s’mores, and building bonds with new and old friends. A couple of weeks ago, after more than fifteen years, Adam revisited Greenwoods Camp. This time, instead of visiting as a camper, Adam visited as a gay dad.

Traditionally, Greenwoods Camp hosts two, four, or eight-week overnight programs for children ages 7-15. They also host Family Camp, an overnight camp experience for campers and their families. Last year, for the 2016 season, Greenwoods Camp added an additional family-oriented program to their list: CampOut, an overnight camp for LGBT parents and their children. CampOut congregated for the first time in August 2016, around the same time Silas was born. We were still immersed with the joys and challenges of having a new child, and ultimately, we decided to opt out of CampOut that year.

CampOut 2017

This summer, with Silas being old enough, our family was finally able to experience CampOut. Adam was ecstatic about revisiting his childhood memories and sharing those memories with our children. I’ll be honest- I’m not an “outdoorsy” type of person. Camp, bluntly put, didn’t appeal to me. And yet, my level of excitement, of anticipation, matched Adam’s. This camp experience wasn’t about water sports, bug spray, or bunk beds; it was about understanding my husband’s favorite memories; it was about my children and about them having a childhood that surpasses my own; it was about acceptance and progress. CampOut is more than camp- it’s validation. It’s proof that even when we feel the most alone, we’re not alone, not even a little bit.

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By Frank Golden

Most of us can relate to “first date jitters”. You’re nervous. You’re excited. You’re a little bit hopeful. You set your expectations high, but not high enough to be let down. You wonder if the conversation is going to flow or if it’s going to be a series of awkward silences. You wonder what questions you’ll ask, and what they’ll ask you. You wonder if this is potentially “The One.” Matching calls yield the same flood of emotions- the nerves, the excitement, the questions, the fear; they’re all there.

I remember when Adam and I first got matched with our Surrogate. Our agency showed us her profile, and we immediately felt a connection. Of course, we were excited before our matching call, but mostly we were nervous. The thought of transitioning from reading a profile to communicating over the phone was intimidating. We were drawn to her profile, but that didn’t determine her personality and whether we’d get along. Fortunately, our matching call was successful. The conversation was easy and insightful. Several months later, she gave birth to our daughter, Sophia.

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By Frank Golden

A young couple struggles to have a family. They undergo multiple treatments and procedures, all of which are unsuccessful. They eventually decide to pursue a Surrogate, and are matched with an ideal candidate; they quickly form a bond. Their Surrogate is smart, beautiful, funny, and lives close by. Her body is healthy and ideal for pregnancy. The young couple feels blessed. And then things change. Their Surrogate starts acting strange. She desires a closer relationship with the Intended Father and begins isolating the Intended Mother. She becomes delusional believing that she is the mother to the unborn child growing inside of her. She fantasizes about starting a life with the Intended Father and the baby. In a desperate attempt to fulfill her dream, she battles the Intended Mother, and fails. The Intended Parents are exhausted after their feat, but are finally blessed with the family they always wanted.

Don’t be alarmed. This is not a true story. Not by any means. This short story outlines the plot for When the Bough Breaks, a 2016 Lifetime original film. The Surrogacy Trap, The Surrogate, A Surrogate’s Nightmare, A Surrogate’s Terror, Baby Mama, and the recent big picture release, Inconceivable, are examples of some of the more ridiculous Surrogacy movies out there. Each one offers a slightly different, but equally crazy perspective on Surrogacy, Surrogates, and Intended Parents.

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