A gay poly throuple has made history by being the first family in California to list three dads on a birth certificate.
Jenkins and his partners, Jeremy Hodges and Dr Alan Mayfield, have been on a remarkable reproductive and legal battle to all become fathers to Piper, now aged 3.
Although the family may seem unusual on the outside, Dr Jenkins says their lifestyle is ‘no big deal’.
In his book, titled ‘Three Dads and a Baby’ he wrote: “The fact that Piper has three parents is just not a big deal. I have three parents myself — my mother, father and stepmother — and no one thinks anything of it.”
He went on to reveal he met Dr Mayfield, a psychiatrist, when they were completing their medical residences in Boston. For eight years, they remained a couple until Hodges came into the picture. At first, the three struck up a friendship. Yet over time, things quickly blossomed into romance.
Despite being happy as a throuple, the trio began to think about what life would like as parents, especially when a friend said they’d donate their embryos.
Over the course of a year, the family invested $120,000 in legal fees, contracts, implantations, and tests so that they could have a baby of their own.
Dr Jenkins noted: “Gay couples don’t stumble into parenthood by accident. It’s always a deliberate act, and a complicated one.”
The first step to making their dream come true was finding a surrogate. Fortunately, their friend offered to carry their child. However, this is when the lawyers needed to step in. So that each of the men would have equal parent rights, the embryos would need to be adopted. This quickly became an unusual case, as usually all three names would be added after the birth.
The situation wasn’t helped by the fact one of the embryos was classed as not viable. While another one didn’t implant properly. To the trio’s dismay, they would have to start the process all over again. This time, they used a different friend, who was also happy to donate her eggs.
However, the difficult legal issues were still being processed.
Writing of the ordeal, Jenkins said: “We had to have contracts between each man and each woman. Then, when another cycle got planned, we realised the contracts had to be redone. Of course, redoing them means $500 an hour in fees.
“And the requirement is to pay four lawyers (one to represent each father, plus one for the surrogate) to craft a parenting agreement, which no straight couple has probably ever been asked to sign.”
Aside from the legal setbacks they faced, there’d been medical ones too. For a while, they faced disagreements with their longtime IVF doctor over the ‘complications’. At the time, the dad-to-bes’ didn’t think anything of it, yet they eventually discovered the fertility doctor had used this reason for another gay couple.
However, it all worked out in the end.
Just before Piper was welcomed into the world, the throuple won the rights to their ‘poly birth certificate’. If this hadn’t been the case, one of the dads would have technically been a ‘legal nobody’ to the child.
The throuple have now welcomed a second child, one-year-old son Parker.
Both children have no issues establishing each of the parents’ roles, with Jenkins explaining: “I’m Papa, Alan is Dada and Jeremy is Daddy.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/three_dads_and_a_baby