A California trio of three dads became the first in US to have all of their names listed on their daughter’s birth certificate. Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges, who are in a loving relationship together, used donated embryos and surrogate mothers to birth their two children, a son named Parker and a daughter named Piper, and a court ruling allowing all of them to be named the father on Piper’s birth certificate in 2017 was said to be an historic decision.
— Tom Durante (@TomDurante) March 1, 2021
This is major for polyamorous families. While having three dads is probably a good thing – hey, the more parents who love and care for a kid, the better, right? – they’re aware that their more “unconventional” arrangement means creating a very unique family structure. “One of [Jeremy’s] friends offered us the embryos they had left from making their family through IVF but couldn’t use. We had the option to adopt the embryos and make the decision to raise a unique family,” Ian, a doctor, told HuffPost. “We did have a slight attention to the fact that our kids might be perceived differently. We didn’t want them to become a target of teasing or bullying or online abuse.”
So far, everyone has been super accepting. Instead of facing pushback from closeminded people who don’t really get the relationship between the three men, in fact, Ian says everyone has been great about it. “We’ve had zero pushback from anyone in our professional and personal lives,” he said. “Our oldest now is in preschool, and the other parents and kids are like, ‘Cool! Tell us that story.'”
Starting a family at all was a huge hurdle. Prior to Piper’s birth, there were laws dictating who could and couldn’t use surrogacy to start a family, meaning Ian, Jeremy, and Alan nearly didn’t become parents. “So with surrogacy you have to have a parentage order from the court, declaring who will be the legal parents,”Alan recalled to The Morning Show. “At the beginning we weren’t sure that we could all three of us on the birth certificate, so it became a court process. We argued in court – it was a pretty interesting, tense courtroom scene. At first it seemed we were not going to be granted that, so we asked to speak in court and pled out viewpoint and the judge ultimately changed her mind and granted us legal parentage for our child before she was born.”
Ian has even written a book now about their experience. It’s called Three Dads and a Baby and covers their journey to becoming fathers. “We wanted everyone to know that love makes a family and families may look different but if you care about your kids and you’re doing everything you can to give them the best possible childhood – that’s what matters,” Ian said.
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