When San Diego-based doctor and university professor Ian Jenkins went to court in 2017 to obtain a parentage order for his child born through surrogacy, he was not entirely sure the judge would side with him. Ian and the two other gay men who form their throuple petitioned the court to be able to list all three of their names on the child’s birth certificate. After hearing tearful testimony from all three men, the judge ultimately ruled that all three of them could be listed as the child’s parents under existing laws – paving the way for other California poly families to do the same.
Ian and his partner, Alan Mayfield, who have been together for 17 years, opened up their relationship eight years ago to include a third man, Jeremy Allen-Hodges. The throuple now has two children, who are both legally the children of all three of them. The men share responsibilities for the home and children.
It was important to all three men to be listed as their children’s parents, both to legally solidify their family relationship and to ensure their children’s future eligibility for their fathers’ pensions, health insurance, and other benefits normally only afforded to legal descendants. As the number of nontraditional families continues to grow, these types of legal protections will become increasingly important.
Ian has written a book about his family’s experience, saying “We wanted everyone to know that love makes a family, and families may look different, but if you care about your kids and you’re doing everything you can to give them the best possible childhood, that’s what matters.” Three Dads and a Baby was released on March 9, 2021.
The Surrogacy Law Center, APLC offers caring and professional assisted reproductive technology services to individuals and families, with staff that speak Mandarin,French, and Spanish. We are dedicated to drafting comprehensive surrogacy, egg, sperm and embryo donation contracts as well timely and thorough parentage orders. No matter what your legal needs may be, we are here for you. Contact us today to get started!