I never thought my best friend’s husband would get me pregnant. Or that he would also get my wife pregnant. But after a few years of consideration, that’s how we all decided to build our families.
It all started at the wedding of this best friend, Tracy, and her brand new husband, Matt. After the reception a bunch of us from the bridal party were hanging out in a hotel room with the couple of honor. My wife Liz and I still had our teal bridesmaids dresses on, basking in the glow of how special it had been to stand together (weeping) with the friend who had officiated our own wedding two years earlier. We adored the man she had just committed to in front of the aquarium’s tank of beluga whales. He was hilarious, feminist, kind, responsible, intelligent, and witty.
You know how when a couple gets married they immediately get bombarded with nosey, inappropriate questions about when they’re going to have kids? Something about big-step ceremonies triggers people to think about the next big step, I guess. I don’t remember exactly how it came up, but I imagine I asked Matt that annoying and cliché question (feeling I was close enough to him not to have it count as annoying or cliché) and he asked me back what our plans were. Being a uterus-rich and sperm-poor couple, the question was less “when” and more “how.”
I told him where we were at: that we wanted kids but felt uncomfortable about the idea of having an anonymous biological father out there. Would our kids want to find him? Would they always wonder? Would they see him as a dad? What if he turned out to be a jerk? Worse, what if he wanted to be their dad? The idea of using a donor from a sperm bank was scary, but I had always wanted to experience growing a human inside me and this seemed like the only way.
Off the cuff, Matt said that maybe he could help us out instead (provided Tracy was comfortable). Time moved in slow motion for a couple seconds as this idea clicked into place in my head. I immediately knew this was it. This was how we would have our babies.
Matt was not an anonymous looming set of what-ifs; he was our friend. He wasn’t a threat as a potential third parent who might try to hone in on our two-parents-only dream; he was a respectful, queer-friendly guy who understood that Liz and I would be this child’s only parents. His offer answered all of our concerns about our future children having access to someone who is undeniably important to them to ask questions and have a relationship they could create in the way comfortable for them.
Liz and Tracy were on board. We asked about Matt’s family’s medical history, we all talked, and then we waited — until we were ready.
Tracy got pregnant first. I cried for joy when she told me in her kitchen. The excitement set my baby fever off anew, and when Tracy was about three months along, we started trying to conceive a baby for me to carry.
I know you’re wondering how it worked (if you’re not, skip this TMI paragraph), and it’s pretty simple. I tracked when I was ovulating and we did a few inseminations each fertile window. Liz and I would drive over an hour to Matt and Tracy’s apartment and we’d visit like any other time, surprisingly not awkwardly. Tracy and Matt would go to their bedroom, Liz and I to their guest bedroom with a small amount of supplies ordered off Amazon. Tracy would bring Matt’s deposit in a cup over to our room and Liz would put it in me. It was almost completely free and involved no doctors. I got pregnant on our second month of trying.
Tracy’s baby came late and mine came early. We all adjusted to life as new parents, but our work wasn’t done. While Liz and I were able to be the listed parents on our baby’s birth certificate, we still had to go through a legal process for Matt to terminate his rights as the biological father and for Liz to adopt the baby. It all went smoothly (except for my baby spitting up on Matt’s good suit in court).
Tracy’s second pregnancy overlapped with Liz’s, too. Now we each have a 3-year-old and each have a baby and live half an hour apart. They’re all technically half-siblings, but we are raising them to know each other as cousins. We are called uncle and aunts by each other’s kids — family.
That’s not to say we aren’t telling them the full story about their connection. Our 3-year-old knows she came from Uncle Matt’s sperm (or as she says, “perm”). We actually made her a custom book about it. She’s not confused or impressed by it, at least so far.
I love the way we ended up building our family. We not only got the two kids we dreamed of, but we gained four more family members along the way.
Here are some more (and more famous) LGBTQ-inclusive families we love.