‘I’m a dad – I gave birth to my twins after six rounds of IVF’

Aaden Darr, 22, said he would go through the process “all over again” despite being “scared to go outside” at some points during his pregnancy. Aaden, a barista from Charleston, West Virginia, was born biologically female but came out as transgender at 16 years old after identifying as a lesbian for several years.

After being on testosterone for two years, Aaden realized it was his dream to have a biological child. He immediately stopped hormonal treatment and visited his family planning clinic to inform them of his plans.

After five grueling months and six rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) – using donor sperm – Aaden finally fell pregnant with twins in August 2020. Aaden went on to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered his twin daughters Quinn and Carter in April 2021.

He said: “When I realized I wanted a child I thought how I had been brave my entire life and done things people said I couldn’t. So why not break the gender norms even more if this is something I want to do?

“When I decided I wanted a biological child I immediately stopped testosterone and called the family planning clinic. I had a sperm donor and began the process of IUI. It was hard for me to conceive as they found out I had polycystic ovaries.

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“After my fifth failed round of IUI, they told me if the next one was unsuccessful they wouldn’t be able to do another. So when they told me it had worked finally on the sixth round it was surreal. The whole office was so supportive.”

Aaden came out as a trans man in 2016 as a sophomore in high school. After being badly bullied by his peers he decided to continue his education from home.

He was unable to get hormonal treatment until he was 18. When he turned 18 began taking testosterone after going through extensive counseling.

He said: “I didn’t even know being trans was a thing. Living in a small state like West Virginia there’s not really much of an LGBTQ+ community. I didn’t know being trans existed until one of my friends came out to me. In 2016 I came out as trans. I got bullied badly and ended up not going to public school.

“My parents weren’t supportive of my transition at first. When I turned 18 I went through extensive counseling and then eventually started testosterone. I was on hormonal treatment for two years but immediately stopped when I decided I wanted a child.”

While Aaden said he never experienced outright abuse in person while pregnant, he says he was “scared to go out in public” as he was extremely self-conscious. He found the process of growing breasts again and growing pregnant “very conflicting on a personal level” but says he would “do it all again”.

Quinn and Carter, now two, are being raised by Aaden and his girlfriend, Claire Behrens, 21, a barista. The pair have been together since May 2022.

Aaden added: “My parents were very supportive when I said I wanted to have a baby. My mum was over the moon. My friends were supportive and my employer Starbucks were very supportive.

“I was sometimes still scared to go out in public pregnant though. No one was ever mean to me it was more of a self-conscious thing.

“I had made a TikTok video about my journey conceiving and it went viral. People said vile things like if you want to be a man so badly why do you want to have a family.

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“People always say ‘your poor kids’ which I find ridiculous because my kids have a great life. There’s lots of ignorant people like that.

“A lot of trans men have unexpected pregnancies but for me it wasn’t so I didn’t have that element of surprise or shock. But it was still very hard for me mentally.

“Growing two babies inside of me I felt everything twice as much. I had boobs at the time and to watch them grow and develop as a trans man was very conflicting on a personal level. I struggled a lot but I would do it again.”

Aaden gave birth via C section in April 2021 and said holding them for the first time was “indescribable”. He said: “Holding them for the first time was absolutely amazing. It was an indescribable gift.

“Sometimes I question myself about whether I can provide the feminine side to their childhood. But overall, the hardest part of being a trans parent is what other people think about me.

“I’d actually say being a trans parent is positive in a lot of ways. I’m more open to certain ideas. I don’t believe toys and clothes are gendered so if they want a monster truck they can have a monster truck.

“I have a different perspective which makes me a better parent no matter what people say or think. I would do it all over again.”

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