Every June, we join our community in celebrating Pride Month — honoring the 1969 Stonewall Uprising to recognize both the adversity the LGBTQIA+ community has overcome, and the historical impact they’ve made.
Pride Month helps bring visibility to a community that can feel forgotten, opening up spaces for them to raise their voices and share their experiences. We celebrate Pride because we believe it’s important to recognize and celebrate love — and remind our community that LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights.
In light of this year’s Pride Month, we connected with Babyletto partners Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju to learn about their three year journey to fatherhood and their biggest hopes for raising their child.
As first-time parents, what aspects of your Indian heritage or other family traditions and values do you want to pass down to your child? Why?
We both grew up extremely close to our families and we both value where we come from and the way our parents brought us up. Our culture was never forced on us, but we were introduced to music, films, art, fashion, and religion that we genuinely gained an appreciation for. Of course, we also celebrated the major Indian holidays like Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, and Navratri, so we were used to dressing in traditional clothing for such events. We have already started introducing Yana to Indian music, and she falls fast asleep while listening to it. So much of our culture is experienced through music and it is the perfect way to learn language and tradition.
Who have you looked to for advice throughout your surrogacy journey as soon-to-be parents?
While we don’t really know anyone who has gone the surrogacy route, most of our close friends have had kids recently and we constantly ask them for advice. They even have a running Excel spreadsheet of anything and everything we would need, with notes on how they liked the different products. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by friends who take their roles as parents seriously!
What have you enjoyed most about planning your nursery and the significance it holds in the lead up to your baby's arrival?
Honestly speaking, finding all the furniture and decorating was the easiest part! Since Babyletto has everything we need, it was as simple as selecting the colors we liked. We knew we wanted the room to feel tranquil, and it came together so perfectly without much effort. The best part was opening and assembling everything because that’s when it all felt so real. We’ve been on our surrogacy journey for three years now, so to finally be able to create a space for our baby girl felt surreal! We definitely shed a bunch of tears while setting it all up!
What unique challenges have you faced as an LGBTQIA+ couple going through surrogacy?
We learned so much about the ins and outs of surrogacy during our three-year journey. While we did a ton of research, there’s really nothing that can fully prepare you for the journey. It did feel like each step was a challenge because of the lack of information and resources available. Also, it’s a major financial commitment for LGBTQ+ couples as our health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of semen testing, genetic testing, fertilization, and everything that comes after. At times, it felt like our marriage wasn’t respected by the system, but we had our hopes high and remained persistent. IVF and surrogacy in general is a journey that requires a lot of faith and patience. We are so grateful we were able to make it to the finish line!
How do you hope to raise your child to understand different family dynamics and the LQBTQIA+ community?
Our child is going to be surrounded by so much love! Can you imagine being the product of three years worth of effort? Yana is going to grow up knowing how badly her parents wanted her and how many people and moving parts were involved to get her home to us. That itself will require a whole different understanding. Besides that, having parents of the same gender will hopefully make her appreciate all types of families and individuals. We want her to know that not all families are the same, but they are full of love. By the time she’s old enough, we hope that we won’t even have to refer to us as being part of as the “LGBTQ+ community” and just recognize everyone as part HER community.
Check out a few of Amit and Aditya’s Babyletto favorites, and discover the pieces they chose to create their new baby’s nursery. Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, Gelato 3-Drawer Changer Dresser, Nami Electronic Recliner and Swivel Glider, and the Naka Storage Ottoman.