Among LGBT people in the U.S. under the age of 50, an estimated 48 percent of women are raising at least one child under the age of 18, according to a 2013 report by The Williams Institute. The number of gay men stands at about 20 percent.
And while actual statistics are hard to come by regarding surrogacy, evidence shows that more and more gay men are choosing to become parents through surrogacy.
But surrogacy isn’t a cheap option for prospective parents or an easy one. Estimates — depending on where you go and how long it takes — range from the tens of thousands of dollars to upwards of $100,000, according to some sources. And that’s not including all the things that prospective parents need to know about the legal ramifications, the most successful options, and more.
That’s where Men Having Babies comes in.
Men Having Babies Inc. is a nonprofit organization that spun off in 2012 from a program of the New York City LGBT Center. Men Having Babies started as a peer support network for gay men who were biological fathers and fathers-to-be, offering monthly workshops and an annual seminar. Over time the organization has developed resources and programs that go even further in helping the dream of fatherhood come true for gay men across the country.
Men Having Babies has expanded its mailing list to include 2,000 couples and singles around the world, and has teamed up with LGBT family associations to develop similar programs in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Tel Aviv and Brussels, according to the MHB website.
MHB’s mission is to provide educational and practical information to prospective gay parents looking to become biological parents, to promote the affordability of surrogacy-related services for gay men through financial assistance and other means, to promote the safest surrogacy practices possible and to raise awareness of the potential benefits of surrogacy.
Gay men in North Texas considering becoming parents through surrogacy have a chance to take advantage of MHB’s information and resources this weekend at the Men Having Babies South 2017 Surrogacy and Gay Parenting Conference, taking place Saturday-Sunday, June 10-11, at the Wyndham Dallas Suites — Park Central, 7800 Alpha Road.
The Dallas event will feature surrogacy parenting options in both the U.S. and Canada, with practical and personal peer advice and opportunities to meet leading surrogacy service. The expo will also feature adoption and foster care resources.
Programs will offer insights from the latest studies about contemporary gestational surrogacy, and specialty panels on insurance, budgeting, medical and psychological aspects of surrogacy. Proceeds from sponsorship and exhibiting fees will benefit the Gay Parenting Assistance Program.
While the event is organized by gay parenting organizations, non-gay prospective surrogacy parents are welcome, too.
Also on Sunday, the expo will include the LGBT Family Reunion and Equality Rally, being held in solidarity with the national Equality March for Unity and Pride, being held Sunday in Washington, D.C. Local marches are being held that same day: at 11 a.m. Sunday in Fort Worth at the Tarrant County Courthouse, and at 7 p.m. Sunday in Dallas at Resource Center.
The MHB Family Reunion is free and will include entertainment, an LGBT family book fair and refreshments. It is co-sponsored by Dallas Voice and Rainbow Roundup. For a full weekend schedule, check here.
Registration for the conference is $20 in advance (register online here) and $25 at the door. Online registration ends Friday, June 9, and organizers urge participants to register in advance since these events usually sell out.