Trish and Gail Taylor began their journey to parenthood in the 1990’s. This is their personal story of creating their family and working as pioneers in the surrogacy community for the past 20 years helping thousands of people become parents. Their journey continues today…
Trish and Gail met in 1991 and always knew they wanted a family. It was Trish’s desire to have a biological connection but at the time she did not want to be pregnant. It seemed to be a miracle that during one holiday visit, Trish’s brother offered to be their donor. Soon after, they were pregnant through their first artificial insemination with Gail carrying their now eighteen year old daughter. To complete their family, the Taylors added another child to their family through artificial insemination with an anonymous donor and Gail became pregnant again with their now thirteen year old son.
In 1996 the couple co-founded one of the first surrogacy agencies dedicated to providing surrogacy for the gay community worldwide. Gail Taylor led the firm as its President, to become one of the leading global surrogacy agencies, until her retirement in 2010. Their shared vision of providing equality of treatment in the surrogacy industry has facilitated thousands of families to have their own biological connection to their children.
Prior to co-founding their surrogacy company, Gail began her work at a Los Angeles surrogacy agency that was instrumental in creating some of the original laws for surrogacy in California. During her three year tenure she discovered the surrogate industry’s limited acceptance of the LGBT community in utilizing surrogacy to build their own families. The Taylors had several gay male friends that were experiencing severe trauma trying to adopt children, “to say the least it was difficult back then if not impossible for most”. And at the same time these same friends were finding that they were being blocked by surrogacy agencies from creating their own families. Gail came home from work one day and mentioned this to Trish, whose immediate response was, “gay men deserve the choice to create their families just like everyone else!”
Choosing to build a family through surrogacy is undoubtedly one of the most costly and stressful ventures one may experience. Although adoption is surely an alternative, surrogacy is the only choice when you are trying to have a biological connection to your family. With the advances in technology, IVF is steadily increasing in popularity, growing by 230% between 1996 and 2008 (CDC Reports). This statistic of course does not figure in the LGBT efforts in creating their own families. The science of surrogacy is complex and, therefore, expensive.
Trish Taylor herself was a surrogate in 2002 delivering a healthy baby boy. Tom and Mike are the parents of Jack, the 13-year-old boy that Trish delivered for them in 2002. Tom and Mike shared these thoughts; “Jack is the product of a miraculous union with Trish Taylor as our surrogate. Gail’s vision as the head of a surrogacy agency connected us to Trish – her intuition and years of experience creating matches between hopeful parents and surrogates.” Tom and Mike continued, “Trish was the ideal surrogate for our family. Kind, compassionate and generous of spirit – she provided us our dream of creating a child – completing our family of three. We are forever grateful to the Taylors for their indelible presence in our lives.”
As the gay owned and operated surrogate agency blossomed, Trish focused her attention on creating a new company, New Life Agency, Inc. in 1998, exclusively dedicated to the insurance needs of the surrogacy industry. New Life Agency has revolutionized how surrogacy, egg donation and infertility treatments are covered through insurance programs. Gary Hickox, CEO of New Life Agency stated, “Trish Taylor virtually single-handedly created the industry for Assisted Reproduction Insurance. Because of her, thousands of surrogates and the parents for which they were carrying babies have peace of mind while enjoying the highest level of medical care for their healthy babies.” After serving over 17 years as the founder, President and eventually Chairman of the insurance agency, Trish announced in late 2015 she would leave the insurance agency, to create a new surrogacy agency, Choice Surrogacy, Inc.
Continuing her passion for surrogacy, Trish understands there has been a paradigm shift in surrogacy that has not flowed to the bottom line of surrogate program fees today. Surrogacy 20 years ago most people were terrified of the surrogate releasing the baby, not to mention it was not even possible for the LGBT community to contemplate surrogacy being an accepted avenue in creating their own families. Surrogacy, now, is one of the most trusted, reliable and understood options for the LGBT community to consider building their families.
Taylor says “our goal for Choice is to make surrogacy more affordable for people that want to create families”. Her new agency enters a crowded field of competitors with the company’s guarantee to their clients around the world that will set them apart from the pack. Choice Surrogacy guarantees their clients will pay the lowest program fee in the industry. In some cases this fee is a third of what other agency’s charge. In addition, Choice Surrogacy has arranged cost-cutting discounts on legal, medical, psychological, insurance and escrow fees along with fixed benefits for the surrogates.
Trish is utilizing her vast career knowledge specific to surrogacy and is working to further contain the overall cost of the process and ensure the highest level of care while achieving a successful pregnancy. Dr. Robert Boostanfar, MD of HRC Fertility said, “Building a family through surrogacy takes a complex team of caring and compassionate professionals and a single selfless act from a willing surrogate to achieve success. Choosing the right team of professionals and a surrogate is the key to this process.”
Helping people through surrogacy has always been Trish’s love and passion and she has come full circle to hopefully contribute to a more diverse parent base allowing more people access to surrogacy through professionals allowing clients the freedom of choice and guarantee of cost containment. She hopes to make a difference in the Texas state laws regarding surrogacy and parenthood for the gay community.
The Taylor family moved from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX and their children have grown up in both states being the only kids in their schools with Lesbian Moms and are happy and fortunate to have never experienced discrimination. Their children are talented in music and have a love of animals and horses. The kids are excited to support Trish in coming full circle in her career and new endeavor to help create more families like theirs through assisted reproduction and surrogacy.
This story was originally featured in Gay Parent Magazine.