Danish Gay Men With Kids – How Are they Doing it?

Ahead of the second Nordic event on the topic of surrogacy, Sam Everingham talks to Danish gay dad and surrogacy advocate Mikkel Langved Raahede.

Danish-Gay-Men-With-Kids

Mikkel’s partner had ‘shared’ children from an earlier relationship, but when Mikkel arrived on the scene, the couple started to think about a family of their own.

When the idea of surrogacy came up, Mikkel admits “I was in the beginning against it. The only things public were about Indian surrogacy.” Neither could Mikkel find any Danish parents who had used surrogacy. “I was completely in the dark” he remembers.

Then their circumstances changed. They moved to the US for work and quickly realised surrogacy was very accepted there. They found an experienced surrogacy agency, though Mikkel reflects it was still a lengthy process. The first surrogate they were matched with had her father die so she had to pull out. Then the egg donor they had selected was not available.

Ultimately it was their third egg donor and second surrogate who became part of their extended family, bringing twins into the world. Mikkel was 32 years old and finally a dad. “You need to have patience” he admits.

In late 2013, the family returned to Denmark, perhaps just temporarily. “But we had to stay in Denmark and our children were not Danish citizens” Mikkel sighs.

heir twins were just 30 months old but “their presence was reported to the Police and we waited for the Police to come and take them away.” There seemed to be no legal pathway to the dads being recognised as parents. “We did not know if they could put us in jail.”

Ultimately Mikkel’s children had to be awarded citizenship through the family reunification process used for refugees.

Thankfully, new laws were passed in Denmark in mid 2014, which allowed children through surrogacy to automatically be given Danish citizenship if their father was Danish. But Mikkel and his partner decided they had to go public, and he founded a non-profit association DARE to assist in early 2015.

“It was crazy, we were being contacted (so often). We opened our home every Thursday…. It grew explosively…. There is (now) a very supportive community.”

While Danes were initially against surrogacy, attitudes have changed. “It’s not difficult to get politicians ears and the political climate is changing” says Mikkel. While there is still some fear about the rich exploiting the poor, there is growing acceptance of altruistic surrogacy in countries like Canada and Greece, which foreigners can access.

“Many more Danes are engaging in surrogacy now” Mikkel observes.

What advice would Mikkel give to gay men keen to raise a family? “Let go of the shame. Compare a range of agencies and choose with care. You need to trust the people you are working with. Talk to your surrogate, ask her – Why are you doing this (for me)?”

To help with surrogacy decision-making, gay dads will share their lived experience of surrogacy in the US & Canada at FTS second Nordic conference on Sat 20 October 2018. The sessions will include renowned surrogacy and legal professionals. Private consultations in Malmo are also available.

Find all the details about the event here 

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