‘Mom/Not Mom/Aunt’ | Modern Love 11

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(Brian Rea for the New York Times)
(Brian Rea for the New York Times)

For some couples, making a baby the old fashioned way just isn’t in the cards. But there are other options — surrogacy, sperm banks, egg donors — and those options can make things even more complicated.

This week’s episode of Modern Love: The Podcast explores the story of one family. Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson — yes, of “Modern Family” — reads Jerry Mahoney’s Modern Love essay, “Mom/Not Mom/Aunt.”

Family Album:

Jerry Mahoney and Drew Tappon (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Drew Tappon and Jerry Mahoney (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Susie Tappon, Jerry Mahoney, and Drew Tappon (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Susie Tappon (aunt and egg donor), Jerry Mahoney, and Drew Tappon (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Jerry Mahoney and Drew Tappon with the surrogate of their children, Tiffany Ireland. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Jerry Mahoney and Drew Tappon with the surrogate of their children, Tiffany Ireland. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Drew Tappon hugs sister Susie Tappon in the hospital shortly after the twins were born. while their mother looks at the twins. Jerry Mahoney is on the left. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney))

Drew Tappon hugs sister Susie Tappon in the hospital shortly after the twins were born. Drew and Susie’s mother, Judy Tappon, looks at the twins in the baby warmer. Jerry Mahoney stands to her left. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Jerry Mahoney and Drew Tappon hold their son and daughter (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Jerry Mahoney and Drew Tappon hold their daughter and son, Sutton and Bennett. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Susie Tappon, Drew Tappon, and Jerry Mahoney with twins Sutton and Bennett

Susie Tappon, Drew Tappon, and Jerry Mahoney with twins Bennett and Sutton. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Susie Tappon sits next to her daughter, Grace. Sutton and Bennett sit in front of them. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Susie Tappon sits next to her daughter, Grace. Sutton and Bennett sit in front of them. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

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About the voices in this episode:

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Courtesy photo by Robert Mannis)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Courtesy photo by Robert Mannis)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson currently stars as “Mitchell Pritchett” on the Award-­‐winning ABC comedy “Modern Family.” Now in its seventh season, the show has earned five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, a Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Ferguson has also received five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and four People’s Choice Award nominations for “Favorite Comedic TV Actor” on behalf of “Modern Family.”

Ferguson returns to Broadway in April 2016 starring as 40 outrageous characters in the one-man show and highly anticipated comedy “Fully Committed.” On the big screen, Ferguson will star as the voice of “The Shangri Llama” in 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which will be in theaters July 2016.

Ferguson made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 as “Chip” in George C. Wolfe’s revival of “On the Town.”  He later went on to originate the role of “Leaf Coneybear” in the Tony Award-­‐winning Broadway musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Other theatre credits include world premieres of Christopher Shinn’s “Where Do WE Live” and Michael John LaChiusa’s :”Little Fish,” as well as “Leo Bloom” in “The Producers,” and “Sir Robin” in “Spamalot,” both at The Hollywood Bowl.

Ferguson has also worked extensively with The New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park in such notable productions as “The Tempest,” “The Comedy of Errors,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The Winter’s Tale,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, where they design limited edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. Their first collection debuted in November 2012 and sold out in less than a month. They have released new collections seasonally since and featured ties designed by guest designers including Isaac Mizrahi, George Takei, Tim Gunn and Bryan Cranston. In addition to marriage equality, Ferguson is also an advocate and active supporter of the Human Rights Campaign. In 2011, he was honored with the HRC’s Media Award, which recognizes an individual for establishing a positive, increased awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in the media.

Ferguson currently resides in Los Angeles. He tweets @JesseTyler

(Courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

(Courtesy of Jerry Mahoney)

Jerry Mahoney is a stay-home dad, writer and speaker on topics including surrogacy, gay parenthood and blogging. He writes about life as a gay dad at his website Mommy Man, which was named one of the top humor blogs by Babble.com. He is also the author of the memoir “Mommy Man: How I Went From Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad.” He lives in New York with his husband Drew and their kids, and he very proudly drives a minivan. He tweets @WhyJerryWhy

Don’t forget to check out our listener-generated bonus episode, “Where It All Began” and join the Modern Love Facebook community here.

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