California Throuple Open up about Their Unique Experience in Raising 2 Children Together
A California gay throuple candidly opened up about their unique experiences and parenting journey as they raise two children and overcome legal barriers set in front of them.
For this California modern family, three isn't a crowd. The lovebirds, Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield, and Jeremy Hodges, are in a committed relationship in what is described as a throuple, a romantic affair between three people.
Jenkins and Mayfield, both 43, fell in love with each other in 2003 when the latter was a medical student assigned to the former during his third year in medical school. The duo began dating and, in 2012, moved to San Diego.
Three men having fun together at a beach | Photo: Pixabay
They met Hodges online and invited him into their relationship. Speaking about their unique relationship, Jenkins compared his love for various foods to his desire to love more than one person. In his words:
"It's possible to love more than one food and want both of them in your life. Most people understand that because very few of us know someone who's only had, one partner…"
When Hodges came on board, the trio decided to plan towards expanding their family. However, Jenkins wasn't sure he wasn't to be a father. That changed when Mayfield's childhood friend offered to be a surrogate.
After a lot back and forth, Jenkins, Mayfield, and Hodges became parents of baby Piper officially.
In 2017, they welcomed a daughter named Piper, with all three fathers present in the delivery room. However, before achieving that milestone, they experienced an obstacle when they had a get a court order to be named on the birth certificate.
The trio underwent an extensive court battle that cost them $120,000 and involved more than 20 contracts because the three men weren't married. Each father had to get separate lawyers to create a parental agreement.
The judge in charge of the case was hesitant about ruling for all three men's names on the birth certificate. According to a 2013 California Law, a third parent can be added to the birth certificate if recognizing only two parents can harm the child.
After a lot of back and forth, Jenkins, Mayfield, and Hodges became parents of baby Piper officially, making history as the first three dads in California to be listed on a birth certificate. In 2019, they added a son Parker also via surrogate.
This time, they needed no ruling for the birth certificate. Now, a wholesome family-of-five, with acceptance from others, Jenkins has described his life as a "winning the lottery." The trio has since detailed their story in a book, "Three Dads and a Baby."
In July 2020, the city of Massachusetts passed an ordinance recognizing polyamorous relationships. The ruling allows domestic partnerships of more than three people, giving them the same rights as married people.