Bryce and Jeffrey wanted to become parents more than anything. They are now fathers to twins Rue and Ridge.
Like many couples, Bryce Abplanalp and Jeffrey Romney Wright could not wait to be fathers. However, as a gay couple from the fairly conservative state of Utah, they knew becoming parents would be difficult. The extent of difficulties they faced surprised even them. Speaking to Cafe Mom, the couple narrated their challenging journey to parenthood. Having to be rejected more than 35 times by potential surrogates, to finding surrogates they bonded with but whose uterus couldn't hold the embryo to then, finally finding the right person was a roller coaster ride. They have now started their family and a new chapter in their relationship.
"We strongly considered adoption, but we had a strong urge to father biological children. For us, that would mean an egg donor, IVF, and surrogacy. Which also meant a whole lot of time, paperwork, and fees in between," the couple said. Bryce and Jeffrey had set off the wheels for adoption before they were even married. Most of the surrogates who rejected them did so because of the couple's sexual orientation. They also learned that there were legislative changes that could alter their right to have children through surrogacy. "Simply put, because we were gay, we were not entitled to the same rights as a traditional couple," they stated.
Bryce and Jeffrey then had an intimate courthouse wedding attended by only a handful of people from their first family. "It certainly wasn’t the dream wedding we had envisioned, but by this point, becoming parents mattered more than anything," they said. One of the surrogates that they hit it off with was not medically able to become pregnant. Then, they met Julie and felt an instant connection. She was able to get pregnant with both the embryos. Bryce and Jeffrey became parents to a pair of twins as Bryce was biologically connected to one and Jeffrey to the other.
"On November 27, Larue (Rue) and Ridge were born," the happy parents told Cafe Mom. "Rue weighed just over four pounds and Ridge weighed just over six pounds. They were premature and weren’t quite ready to take on the world alone." Going from a carefree couple in their late 20s to suddenly take on the role of parents to not one but two newborn babies, was "a weird transition." They even admitted to it taking a toll on their marriage. They said, "Our marriage has changed, and we’ve had to change and adapt. It’s much harder to do date nights, and at the end of a long day, it’s easy for someone to fall asleep so fast they didn’t get a chance to say, 'Goodnight. I love you.'"
However, watching their twins grow - it all seems to be worth it. Rue and Ridge are now six months old, learning how to sit up and crawl and really find their voice. The couple runs a family Instagram page together and hopes to inspire and inform others. "As parents, we want what all parents want. For our children to be safe and loved and happy," Bryce and Jeffrey said. "As gay parents, we realize our kids are going to have different paths. We hope to raise our children with acceptance and compassion and we hope to give them the tools they need to be brave in the face of adversity."
Cover Image Source: Instagram/Jeffrey & Bryce | Gay Dads