Dr. Justin T. Bernstine is the proud father of two children born via gestational carrier; an older daughter and a younger son. (Coincidentally both Justin, and his husband David are younger brothers to older sisters.) Justin and David started the journey toward parenthood in 2018 by taking a class on the various options for LGBTQ+ family planning. In spring 2019 they signed with a surrogacy agency and by spring 2020 their daughter was born. However, around the start of the third trimester of the pregnancy the COVID-19 pandemic had begun which changed life for everyone and certainly altered how Justin and David envisioned the birth of their first child.
The level of purpose, planning, and preparedness that Justin employed to successfully execute on the challenge of traveling to Arizona for the birth and bringing their newborn back to Washington, DC just a few days after airports opened again was a marvel to David and their surrogacy agency, which began calling on Justin to share his experience with other current and prospective clients. As friends and family members saw how Justin approached parenting they frequently asked for his expertise on everything from surrogacy journeys to packing for the playground to sleep schedules to planning travel with kids and everything in between. Justin truly enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others on their own journey to parenthood so that they can plan ahead to parent with purpose and have time to enjoy the experience.
Justin holds a Doctor of Education degree from The George Washington University and has had a more than two decade career in higher education administration at public and private colleges and universities across the United States. His undergraduate degree is from Brown University in costume design. He is a native of Washington, DC where he lives with with husband, daughter, and son.
Justin’s amazing guidance about how to prepare for fatherhood has been invaluable! He’s carefully advised how to navigate many key decisions, from specific baby items to choose and which ones to skip. He’s also caring, patient and encouraging. From his own personal experience, Justin knows exactly how to make the parenthood journey smooth… even before it begins!
As first-time parents, seeking experienced parents' expertise and advice was a critical part of our early journey, and Justin was simply a wonderful, thoughtful, thorough resource for great ideas and wisdom! From broad approaches on parenting to specific planning over the weeks and months that lay ahead -- including the days in the hospital, products to consider to think about and more -- Justin has been a fantastic partner. We can't recommend him highly enough!
Starting the surrogacy process is both exciting and overwhelming. Luckily, we reached out to Justin to learn from an expert. Justin’s deep knowledge and experience with this process—having gone through it twice himself—was invaluable for our own journey. Justin was there for us the whole way, from providing tips on everything from how to find and choose the right agencies to how to navigate carrier-parent communications to how to plan for travel around the birth. We’re so grateful to have had Justin to call on during our path to parenthood.
Watch Justin talk about surrogacy in the time of COVID-19 (starting at minute 37) with Creative Family Connections and San Diego Fertility Center
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