Following up my previous post, last week Stewart and I spoke to prospective dads at the city’s LGBT Center about traditional surrogacy, just as we did in 2010. The meeting had an excellent turnout – doubling last year’s total – which is particularly impressive given that it took place in July when a lot of people are away. I’d like to attribute this bump-up to more people being open to traditional surrogacy, but it’s more likely due to the increasing popularity of surrogacy in general amongst gay couples in town. Now that we all can officially get married, pleas from our parents for grandkids inevitably follow!
As much as I’d like to report that Stewart and I were the stars of the meeting, that distinction must go to our traveling companion: Max. While bringing him allowed us to both attend, while avoiding the hassle and cost of a babysitter, our main reason for having Max attend was not for our own sake, but for the sake of the other members of the group. We wanted to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
As many of you know, Stewart and I were very fortunate when it came to our surrogacy journey. We matched with our surrogate, Christie, a little over a month after we first posted our ad on the Surromoms Online website, began the fertility process a few months after that, and Max was born less than a year later. Believe me, this is a very quick journey to parenthood compared to most of the guys in our group. Sadly, there are couples who attend the meetings who we first met when we began attending them in early 2009 who are still trying to conceive a child through surrogacy. It is only natural for these couples to feel some frustration and despondency at the long wait for their time to come. Perhaps the child that they thought would be right around the corner has turned into a hazy abstraction for them, leading them to wonder if the long slog to parenthood is even worth it.
We brought Max to the meeting to remind them of why they have invested so much time, effort, money and heart into the surrogacy process. As they could see embodied in our Max, wobbling in front of them at the start and end of the meeting, there is a wonderful living, breathing, adorable, playful, maddening child in their future that is worth all of the struggles they have faced in their quest for parenthood. The best part for us: we could even see it in their faces as Max fearlessly worked the room with his chirps and babbles, stumblings and bumblings, and his big smiles when the group was forced to concede to him that he was, indeed, the star of the show. Not bad for a kid who can’t even talk yet!