Two Dads Win Citizenship Battle for Twin Son – “I Wish I Knew…” Episode 07



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"I wish I knew"

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I work with parents who want relaxed and unposed photos, providing them with images that capture the joyful and unscripted moments in life.

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In this episode of the parenthood documentary series, “I Wish I Knew,” two dads, Elad and Andrew, share the story of how they became parents. Their journey involved finding an egg donor, going through IVF (in-vitro fertilization,) and working with a surrogate to carry their babies.

Two Dads Raising Twins

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After returning to the USA from Canada, they entered a legal battle with the US State Department who denied one of their babies American citizenship for not being genetically related to Andrew, the American dad. (Elad is an Israeli citizen and US Green Card holder.) After winning the case and three appeals, they were finally granted legal status for both their children. Elad and Andrew also discuss the highs and lows of raising twins, struggling through the newborn phase, and how their cultural differences affect their parenting.

Watch the episode to hear about their journey.

Black & white photo of a family of four interacting playfully on their couch: two dads and two twin boys.


Two photos: on the left, two dads on either side of their twin boys giving each other a brotherly kiss.

What is In-Vitro Fertilization (or IVF)?

“In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child.

During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. Sometimes these steps are split into different parts and the process can take longer.

IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure can be done using a couple’s own eggs and sperm. Or IVF may involve eggs, sperm or embryos from a known or anonymous donor. In some cases, a gestational carrier — someone who has an embryo implanted in the uterus — might be used.

Your chances of having a healthy baby using IVF depend on many factors, such as your age and the cause of infertility. In addition, IVF can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive. If more than one embryo is transferred to the uterus, IVF can result in a pregnancy with more than one fetus (multiple pregnancy).

Your doctor can help you understand how IVF works, the potential risks and whether this method of treating infertility is right for you.”

Source: The Mayo Clinic

A photo collage with two photos: on the left, a wide shot of a dad in the garage with his 5-year-old son doing crafts. On the right, a close-up photo of the same scene with dad reaching around his son, embracing him, as they paint together.

What is a Surrogate?

“Surrogate mothers are impregnated through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this process, doctors create an embryo by fertilizing eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. Because the gestational carrier doesn’t provide the egg, she is not genetically related to the child.

Depending on the individual’s or couple’s medical condition, eggs will either be donated by the intended mother or by someone else. Similarly, sperm may come from the intended father or from a donation. Fertilization of the eggs by the sperm will occur via IVF to produce embryos.

The gestational surrogate’s cycle will be synchronized with the ovulation induction (or stimulation of ovulation using medication) of the intended mother in order to create the best possible environment for the embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the carrier, who will deliver the baby.

A legal contract is required for both parties, intended parents and their gestational carrier, before proceeding with medical treatment.”

Visit the link below to read the full article on Surrogacy.

Source: Yale Medicine

A dad and his 5-year-old son embracing in their home and the kitchen table.

Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

Between the nighttime wakings and feeding and the stress of having a child, falling or staying asleep can be difficult for new parents. Sleep deprivation, or not getting sufficient sleep, extracts a toll on all of us in terms of mood, health, safety, and even longevity in all of us. Here are a few consequences of sleep deprivation that are particularly important for new parents to be aware of:

  • Irritability: Under conditions of insufficient sleep, you may be more irritable, anxious, or likely to lash out at friends, co-workers or spouses and other loved ones.
  • Anxiety and depression: Without sufficient sleep, we are at greater risk for negative moods, anxiety and depression. If you experience symptoms of poor mental health, consider speaking to your healthcare provider.
  • Accidents and injuries: Without sufficient sleep, we are at greater risk for longer reaction times, which can increase risk of accidents, such as motor vehicle crashes. Try to avoid driving or operating other machinery when you are sleep deprived.

A lack of sleep can also affect new parents in several specific ways.”

Visit the link below to read the full article on Sleep Deprivation.

Source: Sleep Foundation

Two dads and their two twin sons doing crafts together at their dining room table.

About Marjorie

Hi, I’m Marjorie. I’m a Newborn & Family Photographer based in Los Angeles, California, and the creator of this documentary series, “I Wish I Knew… A Series on Parenthood.”

Portrait of newborn and family photographer Marjorie Cohen.

Soon after I started my business and began hanging out with different families, I realized every single parent I knew had gone through something. Everyone had a story.

I decided to use my background in filmmaking to create a platform where parents could share their stories. My hope is that we can learn from each other and normalize events and experiences that have been labeled as taboo.

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We cover topics such as mental health, pregnancy loss, adoption, divorce, out-of-hospital birth, and more.


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