In June of 2014 we learned that we had met the requirements for the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) through an organization called Men Having Babies. This gave us access to free consultations with several surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics. After our first consultation with a surrogacy agency we were both super excited and pretty discouraged. We had some idea that surrogacy would be expensive but we didn't have a clue about the actual costs. We also didn't realize that we would essentially be required to have all of the money up front before moving forward with any part of the process. We left the consult with heavy hearts. Even if we cut our spending and saved for the next 10 years, we would not be able to financially pull it off without the help and support of our community.
The next morning over breakfast we started joking about having Ellen, Neil Patrick Harris, and Elton John financially back our surrogacy journey. This lead into a more serious conversation about leveraging the collective goodness of the crowdfunding community by filming a video. We started reaching out to folks who specialize in crowdfunding campaigns. Eventually, we found Rob and Loren.
We met with Rob for coffee in January 2015 and discussed the challenges for us to become dads. We spent a couple of hours that day getting to know one another. He was supportive and encouraging from the moment we met. He even talked a bit about his journey into fatherhood and his current relationship to his daughter. It was encouraging to see his amount of excitement for us. He was also very realistic about the percentage of crowdfunding campaigns that fail to reach their goals. He thought it might be a challenge but expressed confidence that we could be successful together.
In the following months we met several of times with both Rob and Loren. We explored our reasons and intentions for becoming parents. Together, we considered the types of backlash that could happen should we decide to share our video widely. They asked us poignant questions that frequently brought tears to all of our eyes.
Two weeks ago we filmed a significant portion for the video in order to have it for our campaign launch on Father's Day. At first, it was kind of challenging to get comfortable delivering our message on camera. After we danced around like we were walking onto the set of an Ellen interview we settled right in. We also spent some of the day walking around and filming in our neighborhood. We got coffee at our local coffee shop, Ristretto Roasters, and then we popped downtown to one of our favorite stores in Portland, The Boy's Fort. It was a great day. We can't wait to see the finished video and share it with all of you on Father's Day!