A gay throuple have opened up about making legal history.
Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield, and Jeremy Allen Hodges are the legal fathers of three-year-old Piper. A judge ruled the throuple could jointly appear on Piper’s birth certificate as her fathers. The 2017 decision was a groundbreaking moment and precedent for polyamorous relationships.
The throuple started their journey to fatherhood with surrogacy. A friend of Jeremy Allen Hodges’ offered the three leftover embryos from when they had attempted to make a family through IVF.
“We had the option to adopt the embryos and make the decision to raise a unique family,” Ian Jenkins, a doctor from California, told “HuffPost.”
Since then, the throuple has welcomed a son, Parker, into the family as well. And, thankfully, he was also allowed to have all his dads’ names on his birth certificate.
“We did have a slight attention to the fact that our kids might be perceived differently. We didn’t want them to become a target of teasing or bullying or online abuse,” added Jenkins. “We’ve had zero pushback from anyone in our professional and personal lives. Our oldest now is in preschool, and the other parents and kids are like, ‘Cool! Tell us that story.'”
And what is that story? How did the throuple get legal allowance to all be legally recognized as fathers?
As Alan Mayfield told the Morning Show, “The big challenge for us was the legal challenges. So with surrogacy you have to have a parentage order from the court, declaring who will be the legal parents.”
The three men started the court process while initially being unsure if they could get all three names on the birth certificate.
“We argued in court – it was a pretty interesting, tense courtroom scene,” Mayfield added. “At first it seemed we were not going to be granted that.”
Upon finding out about the throuple’s circumstances, the judge immediately rejected the idea. She stated that she did not have the power to grant that legal precedent.
“She said you’re going to have to have a law passed or appeal,” Jenkins said to “HuffPost.” “I was like, ‘I just want a kid ― I don’t want a legal battle.’ It was like ice water being thrown on us.”
But according to Jenkins, that’s when Mayfield went “full mama bear” and “basically interrupted the proceedings and told them to swear us all in.”
“We all gave very tearful testimonies about why we needed to become parents,” Jenkins explained. “You could see the emotion on the judge’s face. She looked at all the options in front of her and found a way to use existing laws to give us the first birth certificate of its kind anywhere.”
So if this happened in 2017, why are we only hearing about it now? Well, it’s because the fathers didn’t want their kids to become the targets of teasing, bullying, or online abuse. But now that several years have passed, Jenkins is releasing a novel in March, Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting, to share the full story.
As Jenkins shared, “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.”