Meeting the love of your life, getting married and starting a family is a dream shared by many; however the right to get legally married is still denied in certain states to same sex couples. Last fall the state of Illinois passed a law to recognize gay marriage. For Tom Neal and Mario Cruz-Lopez, who have been together for almost a decade, this news couldn’t have come sooner. But an even bigger opportunity is right around the corner, the newlyweds will be starting a family through surrogacy.
If we had been able to get married in our state sooner, we would have done so long ago. We met back in 2005 while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Now, nine years later we will be among the first gay couples married in Illinois after the same-sex marriage law takes effect in June of 2014. This opens the door for the next step, starting a family, because it allows legal parental protection. We don’t want to have a child to fulfill our own needs, but rather to sacrifice part of our life to give to a baby. We are at the point in our lives where we are ready for that opportunity.
After many hours of research we found Surrogacy Together and noticed that they had a financial assistance program, we applied and started the journey together. We are so grateful for the medical advances and to organizations like this one that have opened the possibility for people like us to start a family. We want to make parenthood as equal as possible so we’ve decided both of us will be donors. It will make it that much more special to have two babies with each other’s DNA. This will be as close as we can get to having children together and completing our family.
With a very strong support system and our families behind us 100%, we feel equipped to face the difficulties and challenges of raising children as a same gender couple. Our families will be by our side every step of the way and are especially excited for grandchildren! We’ve waited a long time to make this official and in the process show others you don’t have to fit into a “traditional mold” to start a family. Everyone should have the opportunity to an enriching life full of acceptance and that’s the type of life our children will be brought into.