Two Dads from France Share Their Journey – François and Jérôme
It’s a brand new episode of Hope Works, and we are proud to introduce François and Jérôme, two dads in Paris who had twins with the help of a surrogate in Wisconsin nearly a decade ago. Press play now to hear them reflect on their surrogacy journey. They share what their lives are like now, and why the time they spent going through surrogacy is still the greatest adventure they’ve ever been on. Why are they still talking about their incredible journey nearly 10 years later? Press play below and listen! (You can also listen on Apple Podcasts! Just click here.)
“It’s a great human adventure.”
When Jérôme met François, he hadn’t thought about becoming a father. “When I came out to my mom, for the first time,” Jérôme says in this episode, “I told her, ‘You are not going to be a grandmom.’ It was my way of coming out…. And I was wrong.”
“To be honest,” Jérôme continues, “I didn’t expect to have a family…because for me it was impossible.”
François was always certain he would be a father, but he wasn’t sure how. Jérôme was won over by François’ certainty and together they started their parenting journey. They never imagined it would lead them to Wisconsin, USA.
An Adventure for the Surrogate, Too
The two dads met Mary first over Skype, exploring the idea of being matched with a surrogate. They went through the surrogacy process, and once they came to know more about the realities of surrogacy, they realized that surrogates come to the journey with their own dreams.
François remembers the joy of realizing that their surrogate would be on her own journey of generosity. “I didn’t know that for a surrogate, it was a great adventure, too.”
And a Documentary, too?
The two dads were part of a documentary that we mention in the episode. If you’re curious about checking it out, it may be hard to find. Here’s a link where you can watch the trailer!
Catching Up with Two Dads From France
Since we recorded the podcast with François and Jérôme, they’ve returned to their daily lives with two dads and two young kids in a busy house. But that doesn’t mean the conversation ended there! Later, Brent caught up with them to ask a few more questions we didn’t ask in the podcast. Here’s that conversation:
Brent: One of the things you mention in your episode is that you met so many people on your journey that have become lifelong friends. Of course, your surrogate Colleen and her family are lifelong friends. But you’ve also stayed connected with the team members of Hope. Did you expect to meet such great people during your surrogacy journey? What has that meant for your life and for your kids?
François: Before getting into surrogacy, we were hoping that we would be able to create a lifelong bond with our surrogate. We thought it would be important both for us and the children. What we did not expect was to create bonds with Colleen’s husband who is a great person, their daughters and both their families. Surrogacy is a lifelong journey, and we are still connected. We also met many people in the process who helped us, in particular Mary, her family and friends.
Jérôme: We share together these unique moments from our journey. We love them so much. There are like relatives to us. It is great to be able to live such a special moments together.
Beyond the Clichés
François: Coming from France, this was also an opportunity for us to get to know the US better, beyond the usual clichés you can get when watching television. And I hope Colleen, her family and our US friends got to know France better as well.
Today now the kids are 8; we are not in regular contact as we used to be. We live far away and different lives. Sometimes months go by until we email each others to give news. But we stay connected via Facebook, and we are forever close to each other’s hearts.
Two Dads Talk to Their Kids About Surrogacy
Brent: Your kids are older now, and many parents think about talking to their kids at that age about how they came into the world. Do you mind if I ask you how you talk to your kids now about surrogacy? How do you talk about it? What is their reaction?
François: Our case is a little specific. A friend of ours is a film director, and when she heard about our story, Colleen was 3 months pregnant. So Delphine asked if she could film our journey with Colleen. When our children were 18 months, the film was released, and at the time it got media attention in France. So from a very young age, we showed the film to the children. Actually they love to see themselves while they were babies. They could watch Colleen pregnant with them and us visiting Colleen in the US.
So we have always been very transparent with them.
Basically we explain that their two dads loved each other, wanted to make family but that two men can’t. That is when Colleen came into our lives to help us. We also tell them about the egg donor whom we met. And they can meet the egg donor one day if they want to.
Jérôme: It was very important for us that, in the future, the kids could know and meet all the people who were engaged in the process if they want to.
François: We don’t get many questions about surrogacy from the children. Sometimes the topic comes up and we answer the question.Maybe they will ask more about it when they are teenagers.
Jérôme: It is very important to me that the kids feel comfortable about it. We won’t have any taboo around it at all.
More Than We Expected
Brent: When you look back, was the surrogacy journey everything you hoped it would be?
François: I think it has been an even more exciting and emotional journey than we expected.
If you’ve thought about helping a family like François and Jérôme’s as a surrogate or if you’re thinking about surrogacy as an option for you family, contact us! We’d love to talk to you about how Hope Works!
Thank you to Seedtrust who partnered with us to bring you this episode of Hope Works! Thank you Seedtrust! Whether you are an intended parent, gestational carrier, egg donor, or surrogacy agency, SeedTrust focuses on establishing trust, building personal relationships, and maintaining total transparency throughout the entire collaborative reproductive process. On time. Online. Worry-free. Find more about our friends at Seedtrust here www.seedtrustescrow.com