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Gay Parenting and Surrogacy Research

As part of our mission, Men Having Babies is proud to collaborate with researchers worldwide in recruiting gay surrogacy dads or dads-to-be for credible academic studies. We are proud to have a large number of parents and prospective parents who already signed up to our Speakers Bureau, and among other things agreed to participate in relevant academic research.

Leading these collaborations is our board member Dr. Gregory Payton, a lecturer in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a licensed clinical psychologist. Please contact him directly in any research related issues. Upon review of requests from academic researchers, we may be able to highlight studies on this page, and / or notify the members of our Speakers Bureau and general mailing list. If appropriate, we will also consider requests from researchers that would like to access the rich statistical data we collected in our surveys.

With controversies arise around the issue of gay parenting or surrogacy, people are quick to voice an opinion or point to anecdotal evidence. But luckily there is a growing body of research on the topic, and it is overwhelmingly pointing to positive outcomes. Now a new book is out by one of the pioneering researchers in the field, Dr. Susan Golombok from the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University. We highly recommend getting this if you are a current or future gay parent, it is an informative guidebook and the ultimate reference book for research on same-sex parenting and families formed through assisted reproduction. As you know Professor Golombok spoke at our recent NYC conference and indeed there is much in this book specifically about surrogacy.

"The Men2Fathers Study" - relevant for prospective gay fathers throughout the USA


The Men2Fathers Study is conducted by Dr. Kate Ellis-Davies from the University of Cambridge and Notre Dame University, are in collaboration with Men Having Babies. This is the first study to ask how gay men transition to becoming dads.

Becoming a parent is arguably the biggest transition we experience as adults. Recent studies have demonstrated that gay fathers react at a cortical level in the same ways as other parents, when they view their babies. Other studies have shown that straight men’s hormones adjust to becoming a father. This biological adaptation is considered to be an important way of understanding differences in the experience of becoming a parent and family well-being – but importantly we do not know how parents in new family forms biologically adapt to parenting. For gay parents through surrogacy, the transition to parenting is always planned. This planned nature of parenting may have important effects on how gay men experience the transition to parenting.

To gain better insight into these questions we are inviting men planning parenting through surrogacy to take part in this landmark study. We will be investigating intended fathers’ experiences of pursuing parenting as well as gathering saliva samples. As these men transition to parenting, we will follow up with their families. It is hoped that the findings of this project will inform those involved in supporting intended parents through their surrogacy journeys.

* To take part in this study, or for more information, please contact Dr. Kate Ellis-Davies at


"New Families Study" - relevant for gay fathers in the NY region who have 3-9 years old children by means of surrogacy

We would like to recommend a ground-breaking study conducted by a joint team from Columbia and Cambridge Universities (see below), which may contribute to a better understanding of the diversity in family life.

This confidential research study is targeted at families headed by gay, lesbian, and straight couples with a child between 3 and 9 years old who was conceived through assisted reproduction in the NY tri-state area.

If you agree to participate, two researchers would visit your family home for about 2 to 3 hours. They will work with you to find a convenient time, including weekends and evenings. The visit would involve interviews, questionnaires, and fun games for you to play with your child. As a token of they thanks, they offer each family a $75 gift card.

For more information please see this PDF file or visit the study web page at:
Or contact Liz at or at 646-774-6921.

About the researcher:
"We are a team of researchers headed by Dr. Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in the UK and Dr. Anke A. Ehrhardt, Director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and NYS Psychiatric Institute in NY.
Dr. Golombok has carried out some of the earliest studies of LGBT headed families and the first study of children growing up in families formed through surrogacy.
* To learn more about the Centre for Family Research, please visit: 
* To learn more about the
Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, please visit:

"Are you a parent or intended parent through surrogacy? Are you a surrogate? Are you an egg donor? Help us advance our understanding of surrogacy!

“The Surrogacy Pathways: An Anthropological Analysis” looks to examine the journey of all the subjects involved in these experiences: egg donors, surrogates and intended parents. Especially, the research focuses on a comparison between the expectations and reality before and after the delivery and on the negotiation of the relatedness (Carsten, 2004) between parties.

Corinna Guerzoni_126
The research is led by Corinna S. Guerzoni, a Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is a Professor in Anthropology at Istituto Europeo di Design (Italy) and a Postdoctoral Researcher at Western Fertility Institute (California). In 2016, Dr. Guerzoni was a Visiting Researcher at San Diego State University, Department of Women’s Studies.

‘SurrogARTs’ study - recruiting parents through surrogacy, surrogates, egg donors, and professionals.

This sociological research project explores practices and social and legal aspects of surrogacy, as they are experienced by all involved parties: surrogates, egg donors, and clinic/agency practitioners working in the US or the UK, as well as parents of any nationality and sexual identity, whether in the surrogacy process right now or having completed it. At the policy level, the project aims to contribute to establishing ethical guidelines for surrogacy, including transnational practices.

The research is conducted by Dr. Marcin Smietana, a postdoctoral fellow of the European Union at the University of California Berkeley from October 2014 through March 2016, and at the University of Cambridge (UK) from April 2016 through March 2017. Marcin’s previous study at the University of Barcelona focused on social and educational inclusion or gay father families in Spain.

The ‘SurrogARTs’ study is carried out in collaboration with world-class experts on assisted conception, Prof. Charis Thompson at Berkeley and Prof. Sarah Franklin at Cambridge. The project is funded by the European Commission.

* If you think you could share your experiences in a confidential in-depth interview of approximately one hour, please contact Marcin at
* For more information about the study and the researchers please check the project website and flyer:

European Research about gay fathers who have children by means of surrogacy

A team of researchers in the UK, France, and the Netherlands has asked us to help with the recruitment of gay couples who hope to become parents through surrogacy. The researchers include distinguished professors such as Michael Lamb (University of Cambridge), Henny Boss (University of Amsterdam), Martine Gross (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique), and Oliver Vecho (University of Paris).

Men Having Babies fully supports this request, and on behalf of the research team we would like to draw your attention to this study.

If you are planning a family by means of surrogacy, are working / have worked with a surrogate who is pregnant, or already delivered a baby for you, please contact the members of the research team for more information. Also, if you know someone else who might be interested in this study, please forward this information to them. Below you can find the contact information for the researchers in the three involved countries, as well as the websites where you will find more information about the study.

UK - "New Parents Study":
Study website:

Netherlands - Onderzoek naar Nieuwe:
Study website:

France - Etude << Familles-PMA >>:
Study website:

NY Doctoral study about the impact of having children on gay men

A new doctoral study lead by Avi Sanders, a member of our network, is designed to examine the impact of the experience of having a child on gay men. The study is titled “Gay Men Having Babies: Impact on the Couple, Relationships with the Couples’ Families and Self-Perceptions.” Specifically, the study attempts to shed light on how this experience affected the relationship of the couple, their relationship with their families, and the perceptions of themselves as persons and gay men. Participants will be asked to complete a short demographic questionnaire followed by an interview, which will be audio taped (for research purposes only). Participants qualify for the study if they are 18 years old or older, identify themselves as gay males, and had a child with a male partner through adoption or surrogacy. If you are willing to participate please contact the principal investigator, Avi Sanders, a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Adelphi University, at