They say love comes in many forms but so does family. And this particular family from California is not living your everyday husband, wife and kids arrangement. Dr. Ian Jenkins from San Diego had been in a relationship with partner Alan for the past 17 years and was uncertain about having children.
"I feared the teaching and nurturing of a baby wouldn’t thrill me and I wouldn’t love having a small child,” Dr. Jenkins told an online publication.
Enter Jeremy. A zookeeper by profession, Jeremy joined Jenkins and Alan's relationship turning it into what is known as a throuple. Jeremy has been with Ian and Alan for about 8 years now.
Having Jeremy as part of their family warmed Ian and Alan up to the idea of having a kids of their own, given his nurturing, caregiving qualities. "Jeremy is a zookeeper - he raises these extremely fragile bird species that are the weight of like, an M&M,” Jenkins said.
Luckily, just at the right time, one of Jeremy's friends offered to give up their frozen embryos to the throuple as they said they wouldn't be needing them anymore. This gave the trio the option of adopting these embryos and having a little family of their own. They hired a surrogate and a bunch of lawyers to give life to their precious dream. 9 months later, a tiny little baby girl entered their lives, forever changing their lives. Piper, now 3, made history by not just having 3 dads but also by having a birth certificate that legally testified the presence of her 3 parents.
After a lengthy courtroom process and what seemed like a lost cause, they were finally able to get the judge to have all of their names written down on the child's birth certificate before birth. This was a historical decision, the first of its kind, which they were probably only able to pull off because of the State of California's surrogacy friendly laws.
The throuple has 2 kids together, the latest addition to the brood being Parker, their 1 and a half year old boy and they couldn't be happier about their decision. Admittedly, the entire process required tons of patience AND money, with each father and surrogate requiring a separate lawyer and an independent contract granting parentage rights.
However, this is something that was incredibly important for the family to have in place to ensure there were no complications in terms of consent for medical care, inheritance, visitation rights in case of a split and other legal issues.
With this first of its kind "Poly Birth Certificate", history has definitely been made accommodating families of all shapes and sizes.