A gay parenting “boot camp” will host its first ever event in Asia, in response to growing demand for surrogates, organizers have told Reuters.
New York-based non-profit Men Having Babies (MHB) holds events across the globe that, according to its website, has “helped thousands of gay men worldwide become parents,” by offering advice and support. It also adds that while gay men are the target audience, anyone interested in surrogacy is welcome to attend their two-day seminars.
MHB will provide that assistance next month, March 9-10, in Taipei, Taiwan, which is this week proposing a draft law to allow same-sex marriage.
“Our conferences are not meant to persuade to become parents…they are meant for people who already want to become parents (and) to make the process more accessible and easier,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, founder and executive director at MHB. He added that over the past three years in particular they have seen an increase in Asian parents, especially from China, coming to the United States for surrogacy.
“People are starting to realize…the fact that they’re gay doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be able to have a full life including starting a family and having children,” he continued.
Poole-Dayan has 18-year-old twins with his husband, and began MHB in 2005, which he says is the largest gay parenting “boot camp” in the world. In addition to the one being held in Taipei, there are also upcoming MHB events in Illinois, Florida, and in Brussels.
The Taipei event is being supported by the local LGBTQ organizations Taiwan LGBT Family Family Rights Advocacy, Loving Parents of LGBT Taiwan, and The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR).
“MHB is important because it is difficult to gather sufficient, trusted information on the internet by yourself,” said Jay Lin, a gay activist in Taiwan who had two children with the help of a surrogate.
“Also, when I walked into an MHB conference in San Francisco and saw hundreds of men of all colors and ages sitting there trying to start their own families, I knew that I was not alone and that I could do this.”