Ian Jenkins, left, with his partners Alan, center, and Jeremy. Alan is holding their daughter Piper.

Three dads, a baby and the legal battle to get their names added to a birth certificate

Updated 12:51 PM ET, Sat March 6, 2021

(CNN)Meet Ian Jenkins and his partners, Alan and Jeremy.

They're a "throuple": a committed polyamorous relationship involving three people.
And after a complicated and expensive court battle to all become legal parents, the trio are raising two toddlers in Southern California -- and proving how families come in all forms.
They're part of a unique and very modern family that includes three dads, two surrogates and one egg donor. In a new book, "Three Dads and a Baby," Jenkins chronicles their search for potential egg donors and a surrogate, and a fight to change a medical and legal system geared toward heterosexual couples.
The three men have all been together for more than eight years. Jenkins says they fought to get all three of their names listed on the birth certificates to protect their parental rights and the rights of their children. The process was emotionally grueling.
"But we are hopeful that other people benefit from the experience we had," he told CNN in a recent interview, "and that it's easier, less expensive and less stressful for them."

Two men and no baby

As a gay teenager in Virginia, Jenkins says he faced death threats after coming out and couldn't imagine he'd ever be able to openly love another man.
"I was completely isolated. I didn't know a single gay person when I was in high school," he says. "I thought I'd never be able to live an authentic life.
"It never occurred to me that people could even have two partners."
He met Alan while they were doing their medical residencies in Boston.
"He was smarter than the other students. It was obvious, even though he wasn't straining to show off his medical knowle