The first gay throuple to be legally named as their children’s fathers on their birth certificates have said their life is “remarkably ordinary”.
Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges were all successfully listed on their daughter Piper’s birth certificate in 2017 after a historic intervention by a California court.
They recently had a second child, called Parker, which prompted Jenkins to open up about their experience of parenthood in a new book called Three Dads and a Baby.
“The fact that Piper has three parents is just not a big deal,” Jenkins writes in an excerpt of the book in the New York Post.
“I have three parents myself – my mother, father and stepmother – and no one thinks anything of it.
“Some people seem to think it’s about a ton of sex or something, or we’re unstable and must do crazy things. [But] it’s really remarkably ordinary and domestic in our house and definitely not Tiger King,” he adds, referencing the hit Netflix documentary.
Jenkins goes on to write about the challenges he and his partners faced in having children, including the exorbitant legal fees.
He notes that “gay couples don’t stumble into parenthood by accident”, and that it can be both expensive and complicated.
The men finally won the right to have all three fathers named on Piper’s birth certificate shortly before her birth. If their legal battle had failed, one of the dads would have had to face the heartbreaking reality of being a legal nobody to his daughter.
Gay throuple urged other families to fight for legal protection
The throuple recently appeared on The Morning Show on Australia’s Channel 7 where they discussed raising an unconventional family.
In that interview, Jenkins revealed he wanted to speak out about their experience so other families who fall outside the norm know that they too can fight for better legal protections.
The throuple first got together when Ian met Alan, and they later met Jeremy. They decided to start a family together when a friend of Jeremy’s offered to give them embryos.
Those embryos didn’t end up taking, but the experience helped the men realise how badly they wanted to have children.
To their kids, Alan is known as Dada, Ian is Papa and Jeremy is Daddy.
“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,” Alan explained.
“In the beginning we weren’t sure that we could have all three of us on the brith certificate so it became a court process where we argued in court.
“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.”