The family’s story began around eight years ago. Ian and Alan, who met in 2003, were unsure whether they wanted children, but when Jeremy, who is a zoo-keeper, joined them as a partner in 2012, they started to discuss it. They were offered embryos by a female friend, Meghan.
The first polyamorous family in California to put all three dads on the same birth certificate has opened up about life as a parenting ‘throuple’.
Doctor Ian Jenkins, 45, and his partners Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges, from San Diego, made legal history in 2017 when a judge agreed to put them all on the birth certificate of daughter Piper, now 3, paving the way for other polyamorous families to gain greater legal recognition in the US.
They now also have a 14-month-old son, Parker. The children are half-siblings born using an egg donor and a surrogate.
Ian and Alan have been together for seventeen years. And they’ve been with their partner, Jeremy, for eight.
Jeremy is known to the children as ‘daddy’, while Alan is ‘dada’ and Ian is ‘papa’.
Ian, a specialist in hospital medicine and a university professor, described their ‘unique family’ set up as ‘just three tame, regular people who spend a lot of time talking about what to have for dinner’.
Now, they have released a book, written by Ian, called Three Dads and a Baby, the title of which is a play on that of the smash-hit 1987 comedy film, Three Men and a Baby, starring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg.
The book will be published in March next year by Cleis Press and Simon and Schuster, and tells the story of their unusual family as well as offering tips, including how to develop a ‘consistent parenting style’.
It also gives advice on what to do when your child prefers daddy over dada or papa, as well as the positive sides like three incomes and three people doing night feeds.
‘We did have a slight attention to the fact that our kids might be perceived differently,’ Ian told HuffPost.
‘We didn’t want them to become a target of teasing or bullying or online abuse.’
But luckily, so far they say they have had ‘zero push back’ in their personal or professional lives.
‘Our oldest now is in preschool, and the other parents and kids are like, ‘Cool! Tell us that story’’, Ian added.
The family say that ‘continuous conversation’ is the key to a healthy, polyamorous relationship when it comes to parenting.
Ian explained: ‘When our oldest develops the ability to have a tantrum like a reactor breaking down in Chernobyl, we all have to be on the same page. What’s the best approach? How much time for a time out? What do you call it? Does the parent need help or is it adding fuel to the fire?’