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Before You Were You is a New Children’s Book That Tells the Surrogacy Story

Before You Were You

Groundbreaking Children’s Book Explains How Kids Born through Assisted Reproductive Technology Came to Be

This book is written for a toddler explaining their birth through surrogacy.”
— Diane Nelson
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, October 24, 2022 / -- Before You Were You answers the question every young child asks: where did I come from?
It’s a tough question for any parent, but especially complex for LBGTQ+ parents of children born through assisted reproductive technology (ART).

While many families can rely on picture books to guide that tricky conversation, that hasn’t been the case for LGBTQ+ parents—until now.

Before You Were You tells this increasingly common “origin story” in simple, age-appropriate terms, giving young children just what they need to know about how they came to be.

According to Diane Nelson, "This book is told through the eyes of a toddler asking questions about their birth, the story describes how one gay couple navigated egg donation, conception and surrogacy to ultimately celebrate their beloved child’s birth—creating a new extended family in the process."

Because books on this topic are so hard to find, this book greatly expands the representation of gay families—and of kids born via egg donation and gestational surrogacy—in children’s facts-of-life literature.

And that’s no small thing, since, according to a study by, about half of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to have children—a rate nearly on par with their straight counterparts.

The book is inspired by a true story, as told by David and Jonathan Shmidt Chapman and charmingly illustrated by their child’s grandma, professional artist Diane Nelson.

The book is from Brandylane Publishers and it’s available in paperback ($13.95) and hard cover ($23.95) at and at Barnes and Noble.

Joanne Levine
Lekas & Levine PR