Episode 6: LGBTQ+ Family Building: Two Dads and the Journey to Build Their Family
For Pride month, we’re rolling out four episodes that cover family building for the LGBTQ+ community. The second episode goes into further detail about what it’s like to build a family as a same-sex couple, specifically for same-sex male couples.
We explore the option of gestational surrogacy. Surrogacy can allow same-sex male couples, or single men, to have a biological child by using the intended parent’s sperm with the assistance of an egg donor and gestational carrier.
In this episode, we hear from Benjie and Jimmy Hyde, a couple who found themselves at a crossroads when their known egg donor was unable to produce embryos. We’ll learn how they were able to eventually become daddy and papa to their twin daughters, Isabella and Gabriella, through an anonymous donor, as well as the challenges and triumphs they encountered along the way.
We also hear from Shelly Marsh, who shares with us what it’s like to be a surrogate mother, how she’s helped three same-sex male couples achieve their dreams of having a child, and how she found the organization Men Having Babies along the way, a non-profit dedicated to providing unbiased surrogacy parenting advice and support for gay men worldwide.
Guests: Benjie and Jimmy Hyde, and Shelly Marsh, Marketing Director at Men Having Babies
Host: Justin Alvis, Manager of Member Services at Progyny
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Justin helps our talented team of dedicated Patient Care Advocates provide Progyny members with the best possible experience through their fertility journey. Justin is passionate about professional development for the Patient Care Advocates—he delights in leading seminars and group trainings on effective and compassionate communication with our members.
On April 11th, 2014, Jimmy and Benjie went to dinner with a close friend at a restaurant downtown Chicago. And that night, they committed to starting their family and finding a path to have children through surrogacy. Just over a year later on May 21, 2015, twin daughters Isabella and Gabriella were born in Moline, IL., just a few miles from where their surrogate, Tiffany, was from.
Shelly is a three time surrogate mother to same sex male couples both domestic and international. Aside from her own two children she has carried four babies as a surrogate mother – six children in all! Shelly is also very involved in the professional side of surrogacy and IVF; she has been the marketing manager for HRC Fertility (an IVF clinic in Southern California) for many years and is also the marketing manager for the international non-profit, Men Having Babies – which is dedicated to providing education and financial assistance to men choosing to start their families through surrogacy. With a degree in marketing / communications and a passion for this field, Shelly has been able to provide support, insight and pour so much of her heart and soul into the surrogacy world.
Music From This Episode:
Track: Dawn II
Artist: Kai Engel
Artist: Steve Combs
Track: A Vital Piece of Music for All Your Soundtrack Needs
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: I Wanted To Live