Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress
You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress

Lauren Heskin

If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful Irish feature
If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful...

Meg Walker

Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’
Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’

Amanda Cassidy

4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity
4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity

Shayna Sappington

Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe
Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe

Sarah Finnan

Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea
Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea

Erin Lindsay

Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor
Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor

Sarah Finnan

The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal
The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal

Erin Lindsay

Image / Self / Real-life Stories / Parenthood

Unique families: Gay ‘throuple’ open up about landmark battle to be named their children’s fathers

Congratulations to these dads, who are known as Daddy, Dada, and Papa to their children!


by Jennifer McShane
20th Feb 2021

Photo: @AttitudeMag

blank

Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield, and Jeremy Allen Hodges from the US have won a landmark case for all three to be named on their daughter’s birth certificate after a historic intervention by a California court.

The three men are in a committed and healthy relationship, which they refer to as a ‘throuple,’ and in 2017, had their first child, Piper together using an egg donor and surrogate. A year and a half ago, they had a second child, Parker the same way. Now, after an intense court battle, they’ve won the right for all three of them to be listed on their children’s birth certificates and have shared their story – Jenkins has also written a book, titled Three Dads and a Baby, detailing their experience.

The dads also appeared on The Morning Show on Australia’s Channel 7 this week to discuss their unconventional family, so other non-conventional families know that they too can fight for better legal protections.

“The big challenge for us was really the legal challenges, so with surrogacy, you have to have a parentage order from the court declaring who are going to be the legal parents,” Mayfield said on the show.

“In the beginning, we weren’t sure that we could have all three of us on the birth certificate so it became a court process where we argued in court,” he continued. “It was a pretty interesting, tense courtroom scene where at first it seemed like we were not going to be granted that, and we asked to speak in court and plead our viewpoint, and the judge ultimately changed her mind and granted us legal parentage of our child before she was born.”

A unique family setup

They said they understood that they had an unconventional relationship but when it came to their children, they were concerned that their family would lose out if they weren’t legal parents.

“If our child, God forbid, was to end up in hospital, one of the parents might not be able to go visit them,” Hodges said. He also worried that their children wouldn’t be able to use their fathers’ insurance or pension benefits if they weren’t legally made their children’s parents.

“It was really important to be recognised as the family that we are, and thankfully we live in California, which is a state that, after some teeth pulling and fighting, actually did allow us to do that, so that was amazing,” he said.

Having three dads might seem confusing to some, but to Piper and Parker, it’s simple: Hodges is Daddy, Jenkins is Papa and Mayfield is Dada.

“We wanted everyone to know that love makes a family, and families may look different,” Jenkins added, “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.”

“We wanted people who are in non-traditional families to know that there could be more legal protections available to them and help keep this process moving so that more parents would have the kind of protection we’re enjoying.”

The family might be unique, but love is love.

 

Also Read

good night's sleep
ADVICE
‘I wake up exhausted’: how to get a good night’s sleep, according to an Irish sleep expert

IMAGE talks to sleep consultant Tom Coleman on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep (as well as how...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS
‘Please girls – please everyone – don’t let anything get in your way – get checked’

The singer has passed away following her devastating breast cancer diagnosis and earlier this year urged all women to get...

By Jennifer McShane

crystal
HEALTH & WELLNESS
A crystal healer on the crystals you need for 2021

From the IMAGE 2020/ 2021 Annual,  Melanie Morris meets jewellery designer and crystal healer Merle O’Grady to find a woman...

By Melanie Morris

down syndrome day
REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘Stop treating my child’s Down Syndrome as a tragedy’ – One mother’s story

Louise Ryan’s second child, Henry was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when he was born. She opens up about the initial...

By Amanda Cassidy

Find your focus
ADVICE, HEALTH & WELLNESS
Struggling to focus? This is why you need to stop multitasking

Finally finishing this column has made me commit to finding my focus for the month and reducing the noise of...

By Leonie Corcoran

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Want to make your own candles or lip balm? These immersive workshops are a self-care tonic

The Handmade Soap company has just launched a new series of intimate workshops giving you the chance to immerse yourself...

By Sarah Finnan

Beth Francis on Chronic Migraine via @VitaminSeaFilm on Instagram
REAL-LIFE STORIES
Sea-swimming has helped to reduce my debilitating chronic migraine

Beth Francis used to suffer 28 migraine days a month, but after taking up sea swimming, that number has reduced...

By Grace McGettigan