One of our favorite moments here at Gay Parents To Be and RMA of Connecticut is when we receive cute baby photos from proud parents. Not only do they brighten up our days, desks, and office walls, but they are also hugely motivating - they remind us that we are helping people build the families of their dreams, even when the journey may seem long and the obstacles challenging.
New dads through surrogacy Alo and Javi not only shared adorable baby photos, but also expecting photos of themselves and their gestational carrier, Kerry (how cute is that sign?!), as well as their full surrogacy story. In this blog, they share more about their beautiful connection with surrogate, Kerry, the highs and lows of their journey to fatherhood, and exactly what it was like to travel internationally for surrogacy.
Alo and Javi were also featured in our latest webinar, Baby Steps to Fatherhood, all about IVF and surrogacy for dads. When they hopped online with us, baby Maria was only 3 weeks old, and completely stole the show. Click here to watch the full webinar, or scroll down to read Alo & Javi’s full story.
Starting the Surrogacy Process
In their own words, Alo & Javi’s surrogacy journey was full of ups and downs - “but that’s like any journey!” Alo is from Mexico, and Javi from Argentina, but they live in Barcelona, Spain. They first heard about the surrogacy process for dads at a Men Having Babies conference, and met with Dr. Leondires for the first time after that in 2016.
They started talking about the process then, but it took some time for them to get their ducks in a row and start their journey. After planning, saving, and discussing for a few years, they started the process in the summer of 2019 - and now have a baby in 2021!
Surrogacy Highs and Lows
Alo describes the first parts of their journey as “bright and beautiful” - everything went pretty smoothly. They were lucky to find an egg donor quickly, and match with a surrogate that they liked quickly as well. When they first matched with their surrogate, it was “love at first sight," they had so much in common.
They decided to transfer one embryo on transfer day, and ten days later found out that they were pregnant, that the embryo had split, and that they were expecting identical twin girls. This was an exciting, joyous time for both dads. Unfortunately, in Week 16 of pregnancy they found out that they had lost one of the twins, and describe that experience as a really difficult, dark time. In Alo’s words “we didn’t expect anything like that to happen. It was so hard, but we knew that we still had Maria (their daughter), and she was what kept us going."
Another thing that motivated both dads was their relationship with Kerry, their surrogate. Despite the fact that international travel was limited, they texted at least every other day, and communicated over Skype.
International Surrogacy and COVID-19
Going through a surrogacy journey during the COVID-19 pandemic was an additional obstacle. Alo and Javi were actually able to meet Kerry in person right before COVID-19 restrictions went into effect - Alo’s brother lives in Florida, so in February 2020 they were able to meet their gestational carrier, her husband, and two children. From then on, everything was online! They kept talking over Skype and text, and even for their embryo transfer day they were Zoomed in by the RMA of CT staff so they could be “in the room." At the end of the experience, says Alo, “being thousands of miles apart actually brought us closer together."
When it came to international travel, COVID-19 restrictions meant that the dads had to plan ahead. They knew that their due date was in March, but arrived in February in order to secure special travel permission from the embassy. Maria was born on March 16th, and a few weeks later the dads were still in a holding pattern waiting for Maria’s passport. COVID-19 has led to fewer appointments and longer wait times at the passport offices and embassies, but luckily they have family in Florida!
Alo and Javi express so much gratitude for everyone at Circle Surrogacy and RMA of Connecticut, as well as their egg donor and surrogate - an amazing team of people that helped make their dreams come true.
For more information on the steps of surrogacy, watch the full webinar including Alo & Javi’s story here.
As the Brand Specialist, Emma is the marketing lead for Gay Parents To Be, helping to build awareness of the brand not only as a direct path to parenthood, but also as a general resource for fertility information in the LGBTQ community. She loves the chance to attend conferences on LGBTQ health and family building, and meet prospective patients.