I discovered Men Having Babies in the winter of 2014. I had been doing some research on financing a surrogacy journey and their website came up. Men Having Babies is a non-profit organization that began in 2005 as a peer support group for biological gay fathers and fathers to be. It was run out of the NYC LGBTQ Center. In the summer of 2012 this support and networking group formed into a non-profit with the mission to promote education, advocacy, and affordability information about surrogacy. There are several ways in which they promote the mission. One of those programs is a Financial Assistance Fund with two tiers of support. Stage I provides help for people who want to get started with consultations at different surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics. We applied for and participated in the Stage I twice in 2014 and 2015. This gave us an opportunity to interview surrogacy professionals and to learn more about the medical side of the process.
Applications for Stage II are only accepted once a year. This tier of the program provides more substantial support to help men complete their surrogacy journey. We have also applied for this stage twice. This application process involved gathering our health records, our tax and financial documents, answering essay questions, creating a savings and budget plan, and a Skype interview with their social worker. It was a rigorous application and selection process. Because there is no other funding program that specifically supports gay men, hundreds of same sex male couples and individuals from all over the world apply for Stage II assistance. Although we applied in 2014, we were not selected for support.
We applied again for Stage II in 2015 after launching our Two Beards and a Baby blog and crowdfunding campaign. Last week we learned that we have been matched to receive a significant amount of support through the Stage II program! With the combination of pro-bono services and grant assistance from Men Having Babies, borrowing from friends and family, our own savings, and other support,
we are closer than ever to making our surrogacy journey really happen.
There are still many variables involved, but it now feels incredibly possible and not just a far away dream. We are going to launch another crowdfunding campaign in late Spring to help to bridge the financial gap between where we are and where we need to be in order to successfully complete our journey. If we meet our crowdfunding goal, we could be matched with a surrogate as soon as October!
Thank you so much for your support on this journey. We are so excited to be so much closer!