The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) of Men Having Babies
Frequently Asked Questions: Stage I
- What is Stage I?
[+]Stage I is the journey booster piece of the program that provides prospective parents who qualify based on income and other criteria access to discounts from clinics, agencies, and law firms.
- When are applications for Stage I accepted?
[+]Stage I applications are accepted year-round.
- What is the income threshold for the program?[+]The income threshold was set by our board of director in consultation with the donors and service providers that contribute to our program. While we do not divulge our methods for calculating eligible income for assistance into GPAP, we do take into consideration several factors including regional cost of living and age.
- Is the application fee of $20 per person refundable?[+]Because of the time we spend reviewing applications and running them through our eligibility criteria, application fees are non-refundable.
- Can I/we apply Stage I discounts towards a clinic and / or agency that I/we have already signed with?[+]Not likely - most of the clinics and agencies who participate with the GPAP program will not allow existing clients to apply GPAP discounts after signing.
- When is the right time to apply?[+]This is a question that only you can answer. If you are approved for Stage I, you will receive a dated certificate in order to apply for discounts with clinics and / or agencies in our program. Since this is time sensitive, you may want to apply if you plan to start your journey within the next 6 – 18 months.
- Why do you ask for ethnicity and race in your application?[+]As a not-for-profit organization, Men Having Babies receives financial support from individuals, event registrations, as well as grants. Many granting organizations request information regarding demographics of the people that we serve. These questions are based on the same criteria used by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- My country is not listed here, what do I do?[+]To qualify for Stage I applicants need to provide documentation regarding their income and their criminal background (and for Stage II they also need to provide details about assets and credit score). We require the help of a local organization in order to adjust these requirements to each country, to facilitate the communication with the applicants, and to process the documentation once submitted. If we still do not have a partnering organization in your country, please feel free to suggest one and to facilitate the introduction with them so we can make the necessary arrangements.
Frequently Asked Questions: Stage II
- What is Stage II?
[+]Stage II is the direct assistance piece of the program where individuals or couples are selected by the grant committee to receive direct financial assistance and / or to be matched with partnering providers (clinics, agencies, law firms) for services free of charge. In each of our first two years (2014 and 2015) we already awarded about $750,000 in cash grants and free surrogacy agency, IVF clinic services, and legal finalization / parentage rights services.
- When are applications for Stage II accepted?
[+]Stage II are reviewed annually. Eligible Stage I recipients will be invited to apply for Stage II between June-August of each year, and will be selected by the end of the year.
- Do you provide retroactive expense reimbursement?[+]No, the purpose of this program is to help individuals or couples who would not be able to start this process without some type of assistance. We do not provide any type of retroactive expense reimbursement for any individuals/couples who have already gone through or are currently going through the surrogacy process.
- If I/we are already signed up with a clinic and/or agency, will I/we still qualify for Stage II?[+]You may still be eligibility for some type of assistance through Stage II for any part of your journey that is not yet done or arranged for, such as free legal services (depending on your location, where the baby may be born, and those legal services that we have available through the program). With that said, just as a reminder, we do not provide any type of retroactive expense reimbursement for any individuals/couples who have already gone through or are currently going through the surrogacy process.
- How much do I need to self-fund my Stage II journey in order to be considered?[+]While every situation is different, we do require applications for Stage II to have some money available to contribute to their surrogacy journey (typically no less than 30-40% of total anticipated costs for a US journey)
- Why do you ask for current Asset and Liability information?[+]We ask for this information in order to get a full understanding of your current needs as well as helping you to identify potential financial sources that you may have not already considered. For instance, if you have a mutual fund, can you borrow any amount against that plan? Do you own a second home? If so, is that something you could sell in order to have additional cash on hand.
Men Having Babies created The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) as part of our mission to make building a family more affordable for gay prospective parents that need financial assistance for their surrogacy journey. GPAP annually facilitates over a million dollars worth of financial support for gay prospective parents in two forms:
- Discounted and free services donated by more than fifty leading IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal service providers to prospective parents.
• Cash grants to prospective parents that are funded primarily through sponsorship proceeds from our conferences and donations by parents and allies.
As of September 2016, more than 300 couples became eligible for substantial Stage I discounts from participating IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal services provides, and more than 40 couples have received direct Stage II assistance, including free services donated by participating providers and cash grants from Men Having Babies. More than a dozen babies were already born to Stage II couples, and more are on their way!
Why is this program needed?
Due to biological and social constraints, gay men as a category face the most obstacles in their quest for parenting, not the least of which is financial. Heterosexual couples, single women and lesbian couples can become biological parents relatively easily, and those who need more advanced infertility services can approach the dozens of foundations that provide financial assistance to infertile people. However to date there was not a single comparable fund to assist gay men, who are not considered “infertile” even though they need substantial third party assistance in order to become parents. A wide survey we conducted found that gay parents spend an average of close to $120k on their parenting journey, and that many have underestimated the required costs by about twenty thousand dollars. It is not surprising that about 50% of responding intended parents have expressed an interest in financial assistance to people who cannot afford the entire process.
What does the program do?
The program consists of two tiers of assistance - one provides modest help to boost the efforts of all qualified applicants, and the other grants more substantial assistance to a select group:
- The Stage I / Journey Booster program provides prospective parents who qualify based on financial need and other criteria access to discounted services donated to the prospective parent by IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal service providers. More than one hundred couples or individuals worldwide are approved to such discounts annually.
- The Stage II / Direct Assistance program matches couples or individuals who are selected by the grant committee with participating provides who donate free services as well as provides cash grants to help prospective parents with their journey budget.
The discounted and free services donated by participating providers to Stage I and Stage II recipient prospective patients are limited in number each calendar year.
Currently residents of the USA, Canada, Israel and those of several European countries have full access to GPAP’s benefits, while residents of several other countries are limited to Stage I only. Arrangements are being made to extend full eligibility to residents of additional countries, pending cooperation with local LGBT organizations there.
The detailed rules regarding fund distribution and eligibility can be viewed here.
In an effort to promote transparency and affordability, MHB gathered hundreds of surveys that provided feedback and ratings of agencies and clinics. The detailed feedback includes satisfaction levels, effectiveness measures, and real cost figures that already helped many save tens of thousand dollars by identifying affordable effective providers and creating downward pricing pressure.