Why two men went from New York to India and back to become parents

Guest post by Alan

When we ran Brian and Alan’s family session a few weeks ago you guys looooooved it (how could you forget those twins and their amazing story?), so I asked the two if they’d be interested in writing up the LONG side of the tale for Offbeat Mama. They were happy to do so, so… enjoy! — Stephanie

Photo by Susannah Gill Photography.
Brian and I yearned to have a child of our own for years. We explored our options via surrogacy both nationally and internationally. Here in the United States we were deep into the process of surrogacy. It was extremely costly, time consuming and emotionally taxing. Our attempt at conceiving through different surrogates failed six times. Our funds were dry.

So, we decided to search abroad. Initially, we were skeptical about going through surrogacy in India being that it is still considered a developing nation and we had no connection with the community, the agency there, or the language. We were also unsure of the quality of medicine, so we decided to try an alternative route.

We also looked into adopting a child. Being that we are a gay, Deaf couple, we were faced with minimal opportunties. An adoption lawyer at one meeting informed us that we had little chance of adopting a child here in the United States. We felt discouraged and disheartened. We had little hope and almost gave up.

Six years later the yearning to have a child still remained strong. We decided to do some research again in regards to India. The costs were a third of what they are in the United States so we felt like we needed to pursue this area once more. We located the Rotunda Clinic in Mumbai by stumbling upon some local references with whom we could meet and ask questions. It just so happened that the one reference we contacted was a gay couple living in New Jersey.

After meeting with the couple we felt encouraged again. They helped us tremendously in making the decision to at least give the agency in India a chance. The next thing we know we are on a plane flying to Mumbai and starting the process. We stayed over for a couple of weeks in the summer of 2010. In order to initiate the process, we needed to deal with tons of paperwork and medical procedures, and I also had to donate sperm while we were there. We were feeling nervous, excited and most importantly, hopeful. We chose a native Indian woman to be our egg donor, and another Indian woman was to be our surrogate. The trip was exhausting and once again emotionally draining. After a few weeks, we flew home.

Weeks later we learned the wild and wonderful news — not only was the surrogate was pregnant, she was having triplets! Unfortunately the doctors had to perform a fetal reduction. The reduction was difficult. We questioned everything medically and spiritually at that point. But we just had to go along and grieve in our own way. The fetal reduction was completed successfully yet left some complications related to clotting of the blood. After two months, our surrogate was ordered to stay on strict bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. I felt as if I were pregnant myself! It was quite a stressful time not knowing if our babies were okay. At 31 weeks the surrogate had an emergency C section due to a vaginal leak. Our beautiful twins were born at a surprising 3.5 pounds each! We all gave birth to a girl name Sela Reza Blais-Roth and a boy Seth Thomas Blais-Roth. The premature babies stayed in the NICU for one month and were released at 5 lbs. Soon enough we were on a plane bringing our gorgeous twins back to NYC.

We were minor celebrities in India due to the fact that we were both a Gay and Deaf Couple having twins through a surrogate in Mumbai. Some of the responses were negative but mostly we had a great deal of support and positive reactions while we were there.

Sela and Seth are now five months old at 15 lbs each. We have two chubby, happy and healthy babies! Our journey of yearning for children has ended but another longer, enriching, lifetime of a journey has only just begun. We are so grateful to all of the people who made this all possible and helped us to get here.

Two daddies. Two babies. We are now a family of four — what a gift.

Comments on Why two men went from New York to India and back to become parents

  1. I’m so happy you featured this family! I was so interested in their “long tale” after seeing their adorable family photo shoot. Congrats on your babies, Brian and Alan!

  2. Congratulations! Really happy for this beginning family. I’m sure they’ll shower their twins with all the love and care they need to become awesome people 🙂

  3. Congratulations! You all make a very cute family!

    One thing though (this is not drama, just education), something it seems every adoptive/surrogacy family seems to learn slowly (and the rest of the world not even remotely related to the adoption world).
    When you tell your story to the rest of the world and more importantly to your kids; saying “we all gave birth” diminished the fact that only one person gave birth. That surrogate/birth mother is the one who gave birth and had to make the hard choice to say goodbye. It may seem to others that her role in this was small and not really in the big picture, but without her you would not have those two adorable babies. We often get forgotten as mothers so to take away this from us is making it sound that we are lesser human beings and it starts the silly stereotypical view of us birth mothers for another generation. We know most of you mean well and want to express the creation of your family, but there are other words that can describe that without diminishing ALL involved.

  4. As much as the story is cute and all, Google Babies are real and the women who birth them are very much real as well! They are real and they are many times used and abused just so some people from these “clinics” get paid in the end of the day.
    How I wished there was a sentence in this description about how the birth mother was taken care of, how they met her and thanked her for the gift of their children.
    This was 2 years ago now. I wonder how the birth mother is now? For I’m sure the babies (toddlers now) must be fine.

  5. I know how hard it is to make a family when queer. And yet to not discuss the dynamic of exploitation involved when gay men from the US & other countries use surrogates in poor countries & the complications involved feels missing for this site. There are so many things undiscussed here- the surrogate’s health, the decision to utilize a country where the disparity in wealth creates such a “deal”, how much money reached these women, & the decision to raise a child from another culture & race…

Join the Conversation