When Jason and Aiden met in 2005, they knew they wanted to build a life together. They also knew they wanted a family, and in 2012 they decided to consider an option other than adoption—surrogacy. Aiden’s sister offered to donate eggs, but the couple needed to find a woman to carry and give birth to the child who would complete their happiness.
Tara Kemes, a friend of Aiden’s sister, came into their lives after months of searching. Tara had always wanted to be a surrogate (for personal and altruistic reasons) and though she didn’t want to be a mom herself, she wanted to provide Jason and Aiden with the joy of having their own child—one who, through gestational surrogacy, would be biologically related to each parent.
“Finding Tara was fate—a perfect partnership,” says Jason. “You have to trust this person to care for and carry your child, and we trusted her right away.”
The unique family dynamics—Tara and her girlfriend Kylie attended pre-natal classes along with the expectant fathers—influenced a small, but powerful shift in language from “intended mother” to “intended parents”.
During Oliver’s birth, the dads-to-be were encouraged by their doula to be as connected as possible with Tara. “We really wanted to be involved in the process,” recalls Aiden, emphasizing that although they couldn’t give birth to their son, they offered support in every other way: “staying right beside Tara, holding her hand”. The couple caught Oliver together at the moment of his birth, and experienced a magical connection with their son.
“As soon as Oliver was born, the nurse’s attention really shifted to both of us,” says Aiden. The hospital staff referred to Jason and Aiden as Oliver’s parents, Tara as the surrogate, and prioritized bonding and contact between Oliver and his new dads without ever compromising Tara’s care.
Jason notes that every detail was taken care of, right down to Oliver’s initial supply of breast milk from the BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank. BC Women’s staff helped them smoothly transition home to start the next exciting chapter in their lives together.