Peter Gordon on Surrogacy

My Pathway to Parenthood

Fatherhood is something that I have thought about for a very long time in my adult life. Currently I am The Head of Middle School at an independent private school in a suburb of Boston. I have worked in education and have taken care of other people’s children both at sleep away camp and school for about 20 years. There is nothing else I could see myself doing, nor is there anything else that I would rather do. To say that we are all destined for something in this life is not just a “line” that I throw around lightly. I believe that what I do is my calling. In saying that, I also believe that I was meant to be a dad. I have gone through many stages in my professional life and took getting married for granted; something I felt that would just happen. I thought I would meet the most amazing woman and we would have the most amazing family together, one where our children were overindulged with love and caring. One where we could watch them grow up and be part of this world. That dream is not dead and I still believe that I will get married and have an amazing family. But I do not want to wake up in 5 years or more and realize that it is too late to have a family of my own. I know that being a single father is not easy, but those who know me know that I am a “do whatever it takes to make it work” person. I pour the best of myself in all that I do and the excitement that I have for this next step in my life is palpable.

the excitement that I have for this next step in my life is palpable.

I come from a family of 4 children and 2 wonderful parents. I grew up in Stamford Connecticut until I was in the 7th grade and then moved to New York City. I loved my childhood and I loved my siblings and parents. I lost my father to cancer over 10 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him and how much he meant to me, influenced me, and was my idol in so many ways. I am convinced all of those things contribute to why the feeling to have my own family and be a father is so strong within me. I am passionate about what I do and have the energy to match. Growing up, I was an avid athlete and a good student. I also loved being social, had many friends and my share of girlfriends. I went to college at a business school and thought I was destined for the business world. However, after a friend of mine asked me to work with him in his classroom during the off hours of classes and work at sleep away summer camp during the summer months, I fell in love with working with children. It didn’t hurt that I was very good at it as well.

20 years and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration later, I never ventured into the business world, but instead took my talents to the education world where I have taught math and science, coached many years of soccer, basketball and baseball, ran a dormitory of 6-9th graders, oversaw weekend boarding programs, led leadership workshops, directed financial aid programs for schools, was the Associate Director of Admissions and 4 years ago promoted to The Head of Middle School (most people know it as being the principal.) There are so many facets of my life that are complete and successful. However, one big void is that I am not a father yet. It is hard to
put into words the pride I feel for other parents when their children do wonderful things and the sadness that I feel at the same time that I can’t yet experience that as a parent. I am not able to experience my child needing to be taken care of and nurtured and then growing towards independence; the dichotomy of needing their hand held and not wanting you to tie their shoe so they can show you how they can do it. That is something that I truly want to make my life more complete. The ups and downs of being a parent are obvious, but I dream of giving the unconditional love that goes with raising my own child, of upholding the immense amount of responsibility of parenting, of creating the lifelong memories of father and child, and having the ability to continue my family line into the next generation. To be honest, I thought that it would all happen the traditional way, but in this day and age, what is really traditional, and who is to say that traditional is the best route anyways? I know of many failed marriages and parents who can’t get past the hate they have for their ex as I watch their children suffer. That truly saddens me.

Surrogacy, then, became my answer. I researched all there was to know about surrogacy, both traditional and gestational. I started the process of informing myself over two years ago, but then decided that I would “give meeting the woman of my dreams another shot.” Two years later, I am still in the same place I was two years ago; no long term relationship. So, this past October, I made the decision to have a family on my own. I looked into adoption as I thought that the cost would be much more affordable than surrogacy, but doors were being closed on me everywhere I turned. Each of the agencies I spoke with told me that being a single male was a big disadvantage and I would be at the bottom of the priority list to adopt, mostly because mothers who were giving their babies up for adoption wanted a “couple”; gay or straight didn’t matter as long as there were two. Frustrated and annoyed I looked into surrogacy again and made some phone calls to talk to the people on the other end. It took about 5 or 6 different agencies until I found the perfect one for me. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s like when I knew I had found the right college for myself. When you know, you know. The people there, what they said in answering my questions, the care and conscientiousness they displayed about my journey all shouted that this was the agency to help make my dream come true. Of course, the fact that they were committed to making the process the most affordable for me was a big factor as well. They were significantly less expensive then any of the other agencies I looked at and they didn’t compromise quality or professionalism.

I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason

Thus began my surrogacy journey. It was at that point that I began to develop a wonderful relationship with the executive director Stephanie Scott who took great care to talk me through my different options. Basically, it was Traditional versus Gestational Surrogacy. After much deliberation and discussion, the choice was actually easy. I wanted the surrogate to not have to deal with the psychological aspect of being related to the baby and therefore went the Gestational Surrogacy route. I was forwarded a number of anonymous egg donors and after careful scrutiny of each one, I found the perfect one for me. Afterwards, I had to choose my surrogate. Initially I had selected someone in November who seemed like a good match, but as time went on something was eating away at me. It was hard to put into words, but I was continually questioning my choice of the surrogate. I felt I was looking past things that were of concern to me due to the fact that I so desperately wanted this to work. I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and in December, the surrogate told the agency that she didn’t want to pursue the surrogacy with me any more. At first I was shocked and dismayed, thinking that the possibility of achieving my dream of becoming a father through surrogacy was over. But after talking to Stephanie, I quickly realized, through her guidance and compassion, that this was just a minor bump in the road. Within 2 days, Stephanie sent me 4 more Gestational Surrogates, and I felt a renewed sense of purpose. After looking through the surrogates that Stephanie sent me, I selected Sara, and hoped that she would select me. I remember after reading everything about her and her boyfriend Bruce, I thought she might be the one. Everything that she had written spoke to what a wonderful person she was and how supportive her boyfriend would be about this amazing process. After speaking to both her and Bruce on the phone, I was sure she was the one.

She was amazingly nice, incredibly sweet, down to earth, and we both had the same taste in movies! I believe that I have a good sense about people and hearing her speak about this journey that she felt destined to do, a journey that she spoke about with love and pride, a journey that she said she knew had to be a part of her life confirmed for me that she would be my surrogate. I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet her, even if only by phone. I was hoping that she would feel the same way about me and that we would be “matched’. No sooner had I been wondering all of this after the initial phone call, that I received word from Stephanie that Sara wanted to be my surrogate. We made arrangements for me to fly down to where she lived and I spent the day with her and her son, Bruce and his son, and we had a great time together. We really hit it off and talked about everything concerning ourselves, our hopes for this journey, our dreams for the future, and how happy we were to have found each other. We referenced it as the “perfect match”. She continued to reiterate how much she wanted this to happen for me and she was determined to be the best surrogate ever so that my dream of becoming a father could become a reality.

my dream of becoming a father could become a reality.

Well it’s been 5 months and we talk almost every night, text all the time, and have been together for the incredible embryo transfer which has amazingly turned into twins! This was such good fortune, but also I believe it was due in large part to how wonderful a person she is, how she did everything she was told (by the book) to take care of herself during this time of getting ready for the transfer and afterwards as well, how she asked the right questions to the doctors that needed to be asked and was stubborn when they didn’t get back to her in a proper amount of time or gave her an answer that was not on point. It’s really hard to put into words, but I know in my heart that I could not have asked for a better person to be my surrogate. I feel lucky and blessed to have her in my life.

Someone asked me the other day what it meant to me to be a father and I responded without missing a beat. I said, “everything”. I have a tremendous support network around me from my family that lives in New York (my sister has a 5 year old son of her own) and a mother who would be here in a heart beat if needed. As well, I have friends both in and out of work with families of their own who have been through the toughest of child-rearing years already or who are going through it now and, at a moments notice would help, give advice, and be by my side. I am excited for this, I know that it is the right thing for me at this point in my life, and I firmly believe I am ready to become a father. What a true, lifelong blessing it would be.

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