Helping other people have children, CFP controller Miriam Kaplan sees the possibility of family for herself and her fiancée
Growing up gay in Israel, Miriam never imagined she’d have a family. Now she and Katie have an embryo waiting for them.
Like so many LGBTQ people, there was a point when Miriam Kaplan thought she’d never be able to have a family or children.
Growing up in a conservative household, she’d been taught since she was a child that the core of a family was a man and a woman, so when she realized she wanted to be with a woman, her dreams of having a family seemed out of reach.
What’s more, she grew up in Jerusalem in a very religious household. While gay rights in Israel, including same-sex marriage, are far ahead of much of the rest of the world, the idea of being gay was still rejected at home.
Marrying another woman and having children? Impossible.
"The idea of not being able to have kids was one of the scary parts of coming out to me,” Miriam says. “I have gay uncles and they don’t have children, so it wasn't something I was familiar with.”
Yet about the time she met her fiancée, Katie, three years ago, she started working at California Fertility Partners, where she helps intended parents manage the financial aspect of IVF and surrogacy.
"I give them options for pricing, and I try to find ways they can save on costs, things they can bill to their insurance, ways to finance their journey and other program saving opportunities” Miriam says.
One of the remarkable things about working at California Fertility Partners has been the close, familial sense of belonging at the clinic. People care for one another, and they truly care for the patients they are helping build a family.
"To us, patients aren't just another number. They're people we watch through the journey to parenthood, and we see all of the excitement and we love being a part of it. We get involved in more than just the financial aspect of it."
She says they absolutely love getting baby photos after the birth, seeing the possibility of a new family come to life.
Now Miriam and Katie are working on building their family and having children of their own.
“We're going to do reciprocal IVF, where I will carry Katie’s embryo so that she can have a genetic child of her own even though she does not feel comfortable carrying a child herself. It's something that's really cool to me. Growing up, I didn't know gays could have children. Moving to Los Angeles and seeing so many thriving LGBTQ families with kids seems to cool to me."
The COVID-19 pandemic put their family-building plans on hold. Their October 2020 wedding plans are now October 2021 wedding plans, and they’re going to have children after they are married.
That’s OK with the couple -- Waiting a year will only delay the family of their dreams, it won’t stop it.
“Doing our embryo freezing cycle at CFP was a really cool experience,” Miriam says. “Knowing that we have a little baby waiting for us in the ‘freezer’ is really exciting, and we can’t wait until after the wedding when we can start planning our family!”
Miriam hopes her journey can inspire other LGBTQ people to see the possibility of children in their own lives.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the gay parenting community,” she says. “I used to worry about how I would explain to my kids that they don’t have a ‘father,’ and how to talk to the kids about their sperm donor. But there is so much information and resources out there now for parents, and even children’s books that discuss these ‘non-traditional’ families. It’s so empowering and exciting to be a part of this new generation where it’s completely normal.”