Marcus Mabry: The Gift Of Being A Gay Dad

When I turned 40 I decided it was time. By then surrogacy was so en vogue among those who could afford it—gay and straight alike—that I knew that was the route I wanted to take. My partner wanted to have children, too, but he was younger than I was and he had not decided at that point, as I had, that he would have children, no matter what.

We also differed over the primacy of having a family. As he put it, he did not feel that his life would be incomplete without children. I did. What would a well-off gay couple have to show at the end of a life spent together: photos of the various exotic trips they had taken? This is us at the pyramids. This is us at Angkor Wat. This is us in Patagonia. This is us in Paris.

A series of travelogues as proof of a life well-lived.

Of course, career, philanthropy, extended family, working to improve the world can all be immensely gratifying pursuits, but—for me—I believed that building a family and leaving children as a legacy would be my best-lived life. And even though he didn’t think it a necessity, my partner was thrilled, if filled with trepidation, about trying surrogacy.

After our first gestational surrogate miscarried in the first trimester, we went on to have an ideal surrogacy experience. Our surrogate became our friend and finally family. She had a nearly flawless pregnancy. And our boys are the best part of our lives. They are our little miracles.

Every time I look at them I understand that far from being cursed, being a little gay boy was a blessing. It taught me compassion. It taught me how to rise above fear and self-hatred. It made me stronger.

Today, I feel well and truly blessed.

My partner and I have all those travelogue snap shots from before we had kids. We’ll be revisiting all those places and taking new pictures again, with our sons.”

—New York Times editor Marcus Mabry, discussing becoming a father after years of thinking it was a gift denied to him, on the Times’ parenting blog, Motherlode.

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