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MHB is accepting applications for the Gay Parenting Assistance Program, appoints administrative coordinator

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Men Having Babies is now accepting Stage I applications for the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), and the organization estimates that in 2014 the program will distribute over $500,000 in cash grants and pro-bono surrogacy related services offered by more than a dozen clinics, agencies, and law firms. In the coming weeks eligible applicants will receive certificates that will provide them access to discounts of up to 40% from participating providers. They will then be invited to submit Stage II applications, and those selected will receive grants and / or matched with providers who will provide them services for free.

The official launch of the assistance program took place at the Men Having Babies conference in NYC on October 6th, 2013 (see our video library for the full board announcement at the conference). The program was created as part of the organization's mission to promote the affordability of surrogacy services for gay men. While there are dozens of foundations set up to help infertile heterosexual couples, for example, until now there were none who offered meaningful support to gay men.

According to the program’s eligibility criteria, applicants do not need to be U.S. residents to be considered for the program. However, before residents of other countries can apply, MHB will need to have an arrangement with a local parenting organization or other relevant third party service provider in their countries that will handle the criminal background check and the verification of the equivalent income criteria (and for Stage II also credit check and psychological screening). Currently there are no such arrangement in place, and therefore non-USA residents cannot complete the application yet. However as of October 21, MHB is already discussing such arrangements with organizations in Israel, the UK and the Netherlands. The organization is encouraging its international members to suggest additional organizations from their respective countries that might be able to take on these responsibilities. The arrangements need to be in place by December 1, 2013, for any given country to be included in the 2014 grant pool.

AJ Edge
In related news, Men Having Babies announced the hiring of A.J. Edge as an Administrative Coordinator. A.J. will be primarily in charge of managing the application process for GPAP, along with the organization's membership database and survey initiatives. His past experience includes working for an array of not-for-profit organizations including a Children’s Museum, an Opera company, and a Zoo. A.J. is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and now resides in the greater Chicago area with his husband of 11 years, Daniel, a veterinarian who works within the animal health industry for a large pharmaceutical company. Together they have two boys, 8 and 3 years of age. In his spare time, A.J. likes to document his experiences as a dad in his blog, Dad Loves Daddy. A.J. is currently also fulfilling his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Walden University with graduation expected in April 2014, after which he will be immediately moving into their MBA program