Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The title of Johnny Symons's documentary Beyond Conception: Men Having Babies may mislead the viewer; it refers not to some revolutionary biological process that enables male pregnancy, but to the complication-ridden experience of gay male parents attempting to father a child via female surrogates. The subjects at hand are Frisco marrieds Paul Moreno and Bruce Gilpin - veteran adopters of one child, who (dissatisfied with the experience wrought by that decision) now opt to father another by having their semen combined in a laboratory and coupling that admixture with an egg from a young female donor named Jade. The egg will be fertilized and gestate in the uterus of Jennifer, a lesbian and mother of two from a former marriage, whose own partner, Jenna, is trying desperately to conceive a third child that they will raise together. This film represents an unofficial follow-up to Symons's prior documentary Daddy & Papa, a meditation on the day-to-day concerns plaguing gay male fathers. His approach here is objective, non-interfering and strictly observational, as the film charts Paul and Bruce's hopes, concerns, questions and fears, in addition to their ongoing interactions with Jade, Jenna and Jennifer.
artificial-insemination, biotechnology, couple, genetics, homosexual, moral-conflict, pregnancy, sperm-bank, surrogate-mother, unconventional