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A Gay Couple's Journey Through Surrogacy: Intended Fathers [Hardcover]

Jerry Bigner , Michael Menichiello
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2006 0789028190 978-0789028198 1
A deeply personal account of the trials and tribulations of the surrogacy journey!

Surrogacy’s been coldly and unjustifiably called “baby buying” and “baby selling” and many states have banned it. But those insensitive terms do not tell the inspiring tale of a couple fiercely wanting to become parents. A Gay Couple’s Experience with Surrogacy: Intended Fathers is the moving true story of a gay couple’s decision to have their child through a surrogate mother. With humor and emotion, the author traces their intense experience from the initial decision to have a child through surrogacy on through the entire pregnancy and birth.

A Gay Couple's Journey Through Surrogacy chronicles this couple’s no-holds-barred account of the emotional toll, the legal matters, the financial concerns, and the ultimate fulfillment of parenting a child.

A Gay Couple's Journey Through Surrogacy reveals the author’s answers to these questions:
  • why surrogacy over adoption?
  • which type of surrogacy—traditional or gestational?
  • what were the issues when choosing a surrogate?
  • how much does surrogacy cost?
  • what living expenses are included in the cost?
  • what are the emotional and financial reasons that surrogates choose to bear another’s child?
  • what are the pitfalls in choosing surrogacy?
  • what are the legal issues—what to beware and what to consider

An excerpt:

Before I knew it, I was writing an ad of my own, and I actually posted it. David, of course, had no idea what I was up to. The ad read:

“We’re a gay couple in New York that just celebrated our fourteenth anniversary and we’ve decided to extend our family. We’re looking for someone close by and even have a separate apartment available if needed.”

Nice, huh? Could it be just a little bit more. . . vague? Could my ad have lacked a little more personality? Sure, have our baby and move right in while you’re doing it! Who the hell would respond to that? I wasn’t even sure after reading it myself that it made any sense. But what should I have said? What could I have said? I scrambled to find a way to delete it, but couldn’t.

A Gay Couple's Journey Through Surrogacy is a touching memoir that reveals the challenges that face gay and lesbian couples who may be considering either adoption or surrogacy.

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Editorial Reviews


"A GREAT READ FOR ANY COUPLE planning on having a child through surrogacy." -- Cheryl A. Jacques, National Gay Civil Rights Leader & Speaker; Former President, The Human Rights Campaign; Former State Senator, Massachusetts

"For all gay men considering parenthood through reproductive technology, this book is REQUIRED READING." -- Angeline Acain, Publisher, Gay Parent magazine and New York Gay Parent Guide

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789028190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789028198
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,726,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book October 11, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put it down, and found myself disappointed that there wasn't more to read. If the couple does (or has) indeed try(ied) for another, I'd be just as interested to hear this 'story' as well.

While I can understand the previous reviewer's dismay with some of the author's thoughts, feelings, and actions, I certainly don't agree with it. This journey was *real*--not idealized, and none of his true emotions were glossed over for the sake of portraying himself or the 'journey' of surrogacy in a better (thus, unrealistic) light. People have these kinds of problems in real life, and reading this book shows the reader their potential, what *could* and quite easily can go wrong. That said, he tends to recognize when his feelings were unreasonable or when he was indeed being "dramatic"--but nonetheless such was the case at the time, and he didn't ignore it. (Though I do have to say that I found many of "SF Guy's" assessments [thus, descriptions of what happened in the book] rather inaccurate.)

It's certainly not all "drama", either. Right along with all the frustrations and disappointments, you read of their excitement and joy. Even though it's told from only one Dad's perspective, I feel he made a nice effort to represent that of the other parties involved as well, even when their thoughts and feelings conflicted with his own.

Mostly, I found this interesting from the perspective of being two fathers, and of trying for--and genuinely wanting--a child of their own. Going through the motions, and considering the realities of such a family, to make it reality.

If you're looking into surrogacy for yourself, or just curious about the process, I really do recommend this book. Sure, it's certainly not sugar-coated, but neither is real life.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By SF Guy
Very little has been written about gay men going through surrogacy and this book, unfortunately, does not do much to fill that gap. Firstly, the text is poorly written and edited (I noticed that there was no editor officially credited in the front; only in the author's acknowledgements could I find evidence that there was one). At times, it was difficult to follow the chronology. The book reads like a journal with a voiceover and it doesn't work.

Secondly, the author/main character is a major drama queen who flips out over just about anything, large or small (example: he goes over the top when he finds out on a blog that his surrogate doesn't, in general, like smokers). Also, I found it hard to have sympathy for this guy (partnered with an MD) when he finds out they aren't insured for the pregnancy halfway through it due to his lack of research; duh! He also has ridiculous expectations for the surrogate, especially around compensating her for her expenses (he is obsessed with the money, large and small, throughout the book).

Finally, he is completely out of synch with his own reality when he feels regret that the traditional surrogate (her eggs were used) has to give up her child, and is concerned that his baby daughter didn't give her permission to write the book (newsflash: leaving her real name and photos out of the book might be an idea to consider).

This book does help in one area: it illustrates most of the reasons why strangers should not engage in traditional surrogacy (same woman for eggs and gestation). Many reputable fertility clinics and doctors won't touch these due to the murky legal status of the contracts and the implications for the birthmother. Gestational surrogacy, unfortunately, is barely mentioned in this book (the author cites it as too expensive).

I didn't learn much here and didn't enjoy the couple's journey.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A gay man's individual surrogacy journey February 9, 2008
I liked this book, I really did. It was wonderful to read a book about a subject that is not usually covered. I've read books by and about gay parents before but usually it involves adoption. So for somebody curious about surrogacy I found the book to be a breath of fresh air...

However, I have to stress that it was OBVIOUSLY a very unique perspective. It was the diary and thoughts of ONE of the intended fathers in this process. And I must say he was not a particularly likable guy...he came off as completely obsessive, anxious, and dramatic. Every little thing would leave him huddled in a corner in tears literally. Meanwhile his husband, the other intended father, is usually nowhere to be found as the book repeatedly reminds us he is very busy with work.

So the story you read is mostly the panicked thoughts of the biological father of the intended child.

Also, even though I've done a minimal amount of research on the topic I feel like the roads that this couple took were very difficult and avoidable. Again almost all of the decisions were made by the over-emotional member of the couple and most of the things "they" did seemed based totally on his impulse. I think that if he had ACTUALLY researched things, not just did some quick surfing online a couple times, and gotten the advice of a lawyer BEFORE the pregnancy was already almost complete a lot of their awful experiences could of been avoided.

So basically what I'm trying to say is that you come away from this story not particularly liking the author and finding their experience almost frightening.

However, as a perspective on something that is not widely discussed I feel it is important to read and it is entertaining at times.
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