Watch: Gay Black Atlanta Couple on GMA Discuss Fatherhood, Social Media

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday August 6, 2020

The Joseph family
The Joseph family  (Source:Screenshot via Facebook @GMA)

Terrell and Jarius Joseph, a gay couple in Atlanta, both 27 years old, became parents... twice! And in the course of five weeks. The couple's story was recently featured on GMA, where the couple discuss why they regularly share their new family's experiences on social media.

Both Terrell and Jarius had wanted to become parents. At one point, they privately hired a surrogate who ended up miscarrying at 20 weeks. Though they didn't believe the surrogate would work out, they tried one more time while at the same time hiring a second surrogate, who quickly became pregnant. A few weeks later, and much to the couple's surprise, the first surrogate had become pregnant too:

"Everything was like times two. And I was like, 'I'm so terrified ... I want to be a dad, but like, I can't do two at once,'" Jarius said. Terrell, on the other hand, was thrilled. "I was over the moon because I always wanted twins and this was the next closest thing."

Both children — Ashton, born to the first surrogate, and Aria, born to the second — arrived five weeks apart and both were born prematurely. Weighing three pounds 11 ounces, Ashton spent 13 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to GMA. And Aria was born four weeks early. Of the excitement and stress, Terrell said, "it was like, 'Geez, do we have to have a near-heart attack before everyone's born?'" In hindsight, Jarius explains, "Once we actually got them back home, it was like everything we wanted. God's timing is perfect."

Because the couple didn't see stories like their own — a Black gay couple navigating professional life while being actively involved in raising their two children — Terrell and Jarius decided to document their experiences on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Watch the GMA feature:

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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