“We wanted a family with children to build something for. Both of our families immigrated to this country and worked hard to provide for us and to create a good future, and we didn’t want it to end with us.”
NYC GWK Mentors Matthew and Felix Cohen met in 2016 on a rooftop through mutual friends. Matthew, a designer, and Felix, an OBGYN doctor, shared a strong desire to become biological dads. Two years after meeting, they became engaged when Felix proposed on another rooftop…the Cartier mansion (the stuff of fairy tales!).
Not long after their wedding, the husbands forged ahead to accomplish their dreams of becoming dads. They chose Circle Surrogacy as their surrogacy agency.
The dads said that working with Circle Surrogacy was “Life-changing. Everyone on their staff has personal experience with surrogacy, which we thought was really special, and it makes every conversation relatable.”
(At GWK Academy, we emphasis the importance of a strong partnership with the family-building partners you work with as it is the foundation of a successful journey.)
The road hasn’t always been smooth, though, like most fatherhood journeys. “I don’t think we had any doubts, but there were definitely moments that were scary. Luckily, we work really well as a team and try to have a fair division of responsibility.”
“There is a very human side to the relationship with a surrogate (it’s not just business). Once you have a child, it’s a whole new level of patience and calm.”
On June 16, 2021, they welcomed their beautiful daughter Lilibeth into the world. The new dads and their extended families were over the moon and instantly in love.
Today, the couple are loving fatherhood. “The hugs, the first crawl or the first step, the smile when they see you, the kiss before bed. The feeling of unconditional love.”
But fatherhood hasn’t come without its challenges.
“I think almost everyday, people ask us–innocently enough– intrusive questions like: Where is mom?, Do you know her mom?, Which one of yours is she? It’s just a continuous educational moment for others, and you have to be okay with that.”
Also, Matthew’s protectiveness of his family has reached new levels.
“There are so many terrible things that happen on the news and around us, and it impacts you differently when you are a parent. You become like a lion surrounding the pack. Now more than ever it’s important to teach your children good morals, and to be respectful of others, and self confidence-and all that starts at home.”
For helping them weather the many storms, the dads thank their families. “We have an incredible support system with our families. It would be really hard without them.”
And their advice to others?
“For those looking to pursue fatherhood: do it. There will never be a perfect time and everything will always be scary. But the love and reward of having a child is unmatched. It really changes you as a person. You need to be financially secure and have some level of support, be it family, friends, or a nanny. Don’t cut corners, especially when it comes to the legal side of things. Trust the process.”
Follow Matthew and Felix’s fatherhood journey here: @matthewccohen