Gay, polyamorous throuple from California made history in 2017 when they became the first family in the state to list three parents on a birth certificate.
Apparently, three's not a crowd for Dr. Ian Jenkins and his partners, Jeremy Hodges and Dr. Alan Mayfield. Even more, they decided to share their story in Three Dads and a Baby, written by one of her dads, Dr. Ian Jenkins.
Dads went into detail to explain the procedure they went from reproductive to legal battles. The throuple are all fathers to Piper, who's now 3, and her position made her unique since birth.
The Growing Family
Jenkins and his partners, Jeremy Hodges and Dr. Alan Mayfield, have Piper and another child, a boy named Parker, one-year-old now.
They don't see their family as strange or unusual. In a book, Jenkins 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."
"Some people seem to think it's about a ton of sex or something, or we're unstable and must do crazy things. [But] it's really remarkably ordinary and domestic in our house and definitely not 'Tiger King,'"
Well, we didn't even think of Tiger King, and we're glad that though unusual, it seems that these men are living their best lives.
The book, Three Man and a Baby is already out, so you can pick up your copy to demystify the whole idea of throuples and how three men decided to be parents to one child (later two).
How This Throuple Came To Life
Jenkins met Mayfield, a psychiatrist, during their Boston residency. They were together for eight years, and then the two became three when they met Hodges.
Hodges is also a medical professional of a different kind. He works in a zoo hospital.
The then couple first started seeing Hodges on a friendly basis. It didn't take a lot of time for this friendship to become romantic, and they've been together ever since.
For five years, the three men lived freely and obviously, lovingly. They started talking about family, and that marks the beginning of their fight and legal battles.
For The Love Of Piper
It's hard enough for a gay couple to become parents. But, for a throuple, that's certainly ten times harder.
Over the next year, the dads would spend over $120,000 on legal fees, contracts, implantations, and tests. As Jenkins writes:
"Gay couples don't stumble into parenthood by accident. It's always a deliberate act, and a complicated one."
They were lucky when it came to finding a surrogate. Their friend Delilah offered to help, but the legal battle was quite exhausting. Each of the dads had to adopt embryos to provide equal parental rights to each dad.
The process failed the first time, so another friend of the throuple, Meghan, offered her eggs.
Despite having great support from female friends, the family had a lot of paperwork and legal issues:
"We had to have contracts between each man and each woman. Then, when another cycle got planned, we realized 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."
In hindsight, it was all worth it. But, the whole experience was far from pleasant. In fact, it was borderline abusive.
Poly Birth Certificate
Just before Piper was born, the dads finally made history: they got the poly birth certificate. Despite the big win, Jenkins writes that it was a nerve-wracking experience:
"Had we not … one of us three parents would be a legal nobody to the kids. "
"No right to visitation if we split up. No ability to consent for medical care. No say in decisions. No legal responsibilities. No automatic inheritance. This would have been really risky for the family."
In the book, the dad describes other setbacks. They had to leave their IVF doctor over disagreements regarding the medical risks. Later, they learned that the same doctor rejected a gay couple for the same reasons.
Of course, giving their samples wasn't picking in the part either. They were given straight men's wet dreams, which seems like a tiny detail, but it speaks volumes regarding how the medical community sees gay couples as parents.
Yet, it was all worth it.
Piper, Meet Your Dads
Sure, it was excruciating, but when the dads took Piper home, it was all worth it.
The girl has special names for her parents, as Jenkins says:
"I'm Papa, Alan is Dada and Jeremy is Daddy."
Piper and Parker don't seem to have any issues to their home lives, and as Jenkins further says:
"We all bring something different. Alan is the best at reading books, with an accent and backstory for every character."
Jeremy is the creative dad, and he makes bath bombs and special lunches for the kids. Ian is the family chef, and a fort-maker, according to the author and one of the dads, Jankins.
Piper is not in preschool, and she seems to be a strong, and feisty young lady. She told a classmate:
"You have two parents. I have three parents."