Brandon and Jake's baby is due in March, 2024! )
Can you tell us how you decided to start a family and the journey you took to get there, including the method you used (IVF, adoption, surrogacy, etc.)?
So, Jake and I always wanted to start a family and when Jake was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, we had to see an IVF clinic to freeze his sperm and that started the conversation with Repromed.
We put it out there with our friends and family that we wanted to start a family and a friend came forward and offered to be our egg donor and then we put it out there to find a surrogate.
In your experience, does the LGBTQ+ community face unique challenges when starting a family?
I believe we do, when we first looked into surrogacy a few years before we started, we felt judged by the doctor and clinic, and they weren't helpful at all.
We have also had to save extra money to cover full costs of the journey, as being a male same sex couple we don’t get medicare rebates.
What were the major hurdles you encountered in your journey to parenthood, and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest hurdle so far has been, with our first surrogate we paired with, we lost our first pregnancy at 9 weeks and then our surrogate fell pregnant with her own baby.
We found this very hard to move on from at the time. With our new surrogate and our current journey the biggest hurdles is working a schedule around 4 people, to make sure we are all included, it can be very hard to manage.
Could you touch on the emotional and practical aspects of your journey to becoming a parent, including the process and the eventual outcome?
The biggest part for me is that we do not have much control of the scenario and you have to put all your faith into one person, after the previous experience it can be hard.
We have built a really strong friendship with our current team, and we are all mindful on each other’s feelings, just hard being far apart and not being able to make all appointments.
What has been the best part of becoming a parent, and how has it changed your life and perspective?
We haven't become parents yet, but we can’t wait, it has already changed our lives as we have to think of our little one already when we are planning holidays and future goals.
Jake and I have always pushed each other in our careers and we have decided that he still has so much potential to grow in his career and I'm happy to take a step back and enjoy the stay at home dad journey, not knowing if I will need to step down in my job or maybe leave my job is very confronting and scary. (worth it for our family)
How many children do you have, and did they come to you through the same process or different methods?
We only have one baby on the way through surrogacy.
Were there any unexpected costs or financial challenges to starting your family?
We had to do the counselling and legal costs twice for which we didn’t allow.
If you could go back and do anything differently in your family-building journey, what would it be and why?
We would have taken longer to get to know our first surrogate and when she started dating someone new, we would have put it on pause and maybe put ourselves out there earlier
to find the right fit for our journey.
What advice would you give to others in the LGBTQ+ community who are about to start their own families - what words of wisdom or encouragement would you share with them?
I would say do not give up on your dreams and make sure you feel 100% safe with your surrogacy team, when dealing with the IVF clinics always speak your mind.
Your feelings are validated as it's your family you are fighting for.
Take the time to ask those awkward questions.
If your children are old enough to understand, how do they feel about being part of a rainbow family? If comfortable, could you share their perspectives?
Our child will know their story and who helped us to start our family.