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Organization helps gay men build families through surrogacy

Men Having Babies hosts free conference in Fort Lauderdale Saturday

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – When the US Supreme Court overturned Florida’s ban against same sex marriage, it opened the door for gay couples to have children of their own through surrogacy but that hardly made the process simple.

“There are so many components that go into a surrogacy journey,” said Shelly Marsh with Men Having Babies, an non profit organization started in 2012 to provide education and support for gay couples.

Mike Reynolds and his partner Scott Figert had been together for 20 years when they decided to formalize their relationship with marriage so that they could proceed with surrogacy.

“For us it was like ‘let’s go get this formal piece out of the way and continue with family building,” said Reynolds. “But we didn’t know where to start and how to put the puzzle pieces together.”

After some false starts on their own, Reynolds and Figert discovered Men Having Babies.

“We want them to know all the good things that come from surrogacy but all the things they might not know about the process,” Marsh said.

The organization guides couples through a complicated process involving psychological evaluations, medical expenses, legal contracts and escrow accounts.  

Men Having Babies also provides financial assistance for the cost of surrogacy which can be $100,000 or more.

“We don’t see traditional surrogacy where the woman is using her own eggs so there’s typically two women in the picture and two men in the picture; two intended fathers, the surrogate and an egg donor,” said Marsh.

Two surrogates dropped out before Reynolds and Figert found a third who was willing to carry their child.  

Fertilized embryos from both men were implanted in their surrogate but only one made it to term.

“We definitely has some fears along the way until he was here,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds and Figert will soon be starting the journey to give their son a little brother or sister, expanding the family they always dreamed of.

“I definitely feel like a dreams’ come true,” Reynolds said. 

Men Having Babies is holding a free conference at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 9, at the DoubleTree Suites Hilton, 2670 E. Sunrise Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale.

For more information on the organization, go to www.menhavingbabies.org

About the Author:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.