'2 Beards' Crowdsource For Surrogate Mother

By Lizzy Duffy (OPB)
Portland, Oregon June 23, 2015 1 p.m.

Oregonians have been all over crowdfunding, from a tricked out cooler to very cool pint glasses, but now a Portland same-sex couple hopes to raise money so they can start a family.


Anthony Szabo and Kirk Shepard are crowdsourcing the cost of a surrogate mother, hoping to raise $75,000 and awareness. While unconfirmed, the couple believes they might be the first to try this approach.

Shepard said the decision to go public wasn't an easy one, but the couple couldn't afford to pay the $100,000 it will likely cost to go through a local surrogacy agency.

"We can't afford to bring a child into our lives, but we have the money to support a child," said Szabo, who works as an office manager at a downtown software company. "Even if we saved for 10 years, we couldn't save enough to do it on our own."


Shepard and Szabo said they've been asked many times why they didn't choose adoption or foster care.

They're not opposed to it, but they want to experience those early moments like hearing the baby's first heartbeat in the surrogate mother's womb and seeing the baby taking its first breath.

"If we don't get those experiences, it doesn't mean that we can't start our family, but it's what we're trying," said Shepard.

The couple has started to document their journey on their blog, fittingly titled Two Beards and a Baby, and social media. Shepard and Szebo have raised nearly $7,000 in the first 48 hours of launching their crowd funding campaign, despite critics.

Some people against the plan argue that the couple should adopt instead.

"But because we chose this route to start or to try, there's a lot of opinions about what we should do, and how we should do it," Shepard said. "We're just putting ourselves out there, and it's vulnerable. It's a wild ride."

"We've had a couple of good friends who have reminded us that when it comes to parenting, everyone has an opinion," Szabo added.

Editor's Note: Anthony Szabo and Kirk Shepard are not the first couple to crowdfund their surrogacy plan. It is not clear whether they are the first same sex couple to do so.