The Path to Parenthood with the Rosa Family
Hi Knix! We’re the Rosa family. We’re Tara and Mandi, better known on the internet as Living Rosa. We're proudly married with 4 amazing children and have been sharing our journey to and through motherhood since 2014.
Our family may seem a little different because we have 2 moms, but we find that people are often surprised by how relatable our family is to their own. The core value behind family, no matter what they look like, is always love. Throughout our time online, we’ve felt honored to help open the hearts of parents who have difficulties with the idea of their child being gay. Sometimes by seeing the example of our family, it helps them picture a happy future for their own child.
There really is no better feeling than putting a smile on someone's face simply by being ourselves. Our little nook on the internet is a home for all and we hope it helps people feel less alone.
Starting our IVF Journey Early
When we met in 2006, same-sex marriage wasn’t legalized in New York yet (it became legal on June 24th 2011). Because of this extra complication, we discussed the topic of creating a family together long before we discussed marriage.
So fast forward to 2014— and the planning of our wedding and the start of our fertility journey started to go hand-in-hand. We both agreed that as soon as our honeymoon was over we'd start our IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cycle. We made sure to get everything in order beforehand because we knew that there was no guarantee that we'd get pregnant on the first try. There are a lot of steps before starting an IVF cycle: finding the right fertility group or doctor, pretesting for both of us since we were doing RIVF, paperwork, counseling, donor selection. The list goes on.
Why Reciprocal IVF
Reciprocal IVF (RIVF) is when you take an egg (or eggs) from one partner, fertilize them to create an embryo (or embryos) and then transfer them into the other partner— who will then carry on with the pregnancy in their womb. RIVF was our top choice for starting our family because we both wanted to be part of the process in which our children were created. We did have a plan B,C,D and so on, in case RIVF didn't work out for us. Our end goal was always to have children whether RIVF worked for us or not.
Luckily, after 3 transfer rounds and 5 embryos later, Mandi got pregnant with our first baby— who was born November of 2015. We always wanted 4 kids, so moving forward we decided to create the rest of our children the same way as our first. All 4 girls were created with Tara's egg, donor sperm and Mandi carried the pregnancies. In total we had 2 egg removals, 5 transfer days with 8 embryos transferred total, which gave us our 4 kiddos (all girls)!
A System With Challenges
With legal issues on equality constantly changing, it can be really hard to keep up. With that being said, during our first attempt to have a child through RIVF we had to get a lawyer involved to write some legal paperwork. This paperwork would ensure that Tara would protect her parental rights to the embryos that were going to be created.
At that time, if an embryo was created with another person's egg (married or not) and was implanted into someone else, the person receiving the embryo would have all legal rights to the child. The donor would simply be labeled as an "egg donor" — giving up all parental rights.
This wasn’t going to fly with us as we were creating this child together as a married couple. Luckily, when it was time to have our next baby, laws had been put in place so we didn’t have to get a lawyer involved in the already expensive process. However, it’s still advised in New York state to follow through with a second parent adoption once a child is born to protect all parental rights— even though we’re both listed on our girls’ birth certificates.
If you’re going through it—
As hard as it is, be open minded to challenges or changes in your original plan. It’s a heavy process, but once you're looking down at your child everything you went through will feel like it’s worth it.
Celebrating Pride together
This is the first year that our girls are fully understanding Pride and what it means to our family. They are excited for everything rainbow because Mama's favorite color is white—so it's a nice change in our decor (haha). We might go to some local pride events but what we're most excited for is the opportunity to discuss all different types of families, people and what makes everyone special in their own way. Aside from that we're happy to be together wearing our matching rainbow pyjamas and baking yummy treats!