American Intended Parents Searching for a Gestational Surrogate
Location: Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Embryo Status: Frozen Embryos
Occupations: Data Architect (Tobias) / Academic Advisor and Professor (Justin)
We met each other nine years ago through an online dating website. As soon as we met for our first date, we knew that this was the beginning of a deep and lasting connection. The next summer, we moved into our first apartment together, and in July 2016, we purchased our dream home in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
In 2018, Justin proposed to Toby, and we set a wedding date for August of 2020. We looked at several wedding venues and ultimately decided on a charming civil war era farmstead just outside of Madison, WI. We both come from large families and were so excited to bring everyone together to celebrate our union, since many members of Toby’s family have not met Justin’s and vice versa. As you can probably predict from the wedding date, COVID-19 had other plans for us. Safety was paramount to us, and so we cut the reception and scaled down the ceremony dramatically. Instead of holding a full day of celebration, we got married on the open-air rooftop of a historic building in Madison, WI with only our parents in attendance. All other family members joined us via Zoom. Even though the wedding that we had was very different from the wedding of our dreams, it was still perfect because we were able to celebrate each other and our lifelong union with our loved ones in attendance.
To this day, we have not yet had a chance to formally celebrate our wedding. We decided that beginning this surrogacy journey and looking to the future of our family took priority over reconstructing events of the past. After we welcome a child into our lives, we plan to renew our vows, hold the reception we did not have a chance to before, and allow our child to participate.
Tobias grew up in a small town in central Illinois. He has a brother who is eight years older, and Toby has memories from a very early age of his brother reading books like Chronicles of Narnia to him, teaching him how to play piano, and going on hikes and adventures. Family has always been an important part of Toby’s life. Toby’s paternal grandparents had eight children, most of whom went on to marry and have children of their own. As a result, family gatherings meant being surrounded by many, many loved ones! Even though most of Toby’s cousins have now grown up and have moved across the country and are beginning to have children of their own, everyone still travels back to see each other for holidays. There is no feeling quite like being surrounded by those that you love and care for, and Toby can’t wait to share this with Justin’s and his child.
Toby began playing violin at the age of 6 and enjoyed recording music along with his brother and his dad, both of whom play the guitar. Toby loves animals and has always been surrounded by dogs (either real or many stuffed ones!). In grade school, Toby’s favorite subjects were math, chemistry, and French. In college, Toby blended his love for creative and quantitative studies by obtaining a two-year degree in graphic design and then a four-year degree in finance with a minor in statistics. Today, Toby works as a healthcare analytics consultant, helping hospitals leverage data to inform and improve patient care. Outside of work, Toby enjoys being active outdoors with swimming, paddleboarding, running, and cycling.
Justin grew up near Madison, Wisconsin on a large farm in the country. Justin grew up around animals and has always loved them. When he was a little kid, he would constantly go out to the large horse barn at his parents house and find cats that were abandoned in the country and care for them - many of them having multiple litters of kittens. To this day, Justin’s parents still have cats that suddenly show up at their home and they continue to offer care to those animals.
When Justin was 14 years old, he was cast in his first musical (The Jester in Once Upon a Mattress) and he found a passion that would last him a lifetime. Shortly after his first experience in a musical, his mother asked him if he wanted to go and see an opera. Not knowing what to expect, he went to the opera house for the first time and was hooked! Justin went on to study opera performance and received his bachelor's degree in music in 2009. While Justin sang in regional opera performances, he soon learned that the career was extraordinarily competitive. It was around this time that he began to lead musicals and operas as their music director. These experiences led Justin to go back to school to train to be a choral music teacher. For nearly ten years, Justin was leading middle and high school aged students in choral music while also keeping up a small (yet robust) performance schedule. In 2019, Justin decided it was time to start something new and began a career advising college students at a small liberal arts college in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2022, Justin received his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and has re-entered the classroom as a college instructor (as well as continuing his role as an academic advisor).
As a same sex couple, we have always known that our path to starting our family would look different than other families. We have always wanted to be parents, but did not quite know what that would look like for us. When we learned about surrogacy, something clicked inside and we knew that this was right for us. We are very much looking forward to beginning this journey.
Our fertility clinic began the process of thawing and fertilizing our eggs on August 5, 2022, so we should know soon how many embryos we have.
We have two amazing pugs that are a huge part of our lives (please feel free to gush over them at the pictures above). Frankie and Oscar are going to be the best big brothers! We really enjoy spending time outdoors in our large backyard and taking walks around our quaint little neighborhood
Madison is a major city and our state capitol, located only a short drive away with plenty to do! We love taking advantage of paddleboarding on one of the many lakes in the area or taking our bikes on the trails that run from our town all the way into Madison. We also attend art & food festivals in our community. As Justin’s parents are nearby, we also spend time with them pretty regularly.
We will support our surrogate by providing reimbursement for any and all costs or expenses that are permissible under Canadian law. We will also be regularly available for any and all phone/video conversations that may need to occur. We definitely want to be a partner in this entire journey.
We absolutely look forward to having regular contact with our gestational surrogate. If permitted, we would like to travel to our surrogate to attend ultrasounds and other milestone appointments. After pregnancy, we absolutely want to continue having a relationship with our gestational surrogate. We plan to share with our child at an early age the details of their unique origin story, and our surrogate will absolutely be a part of that exciting story we share with them. They will have questions and being able to introduce our child to the person who helped us become parents will be so valuable.
Tobias & Justin