Thomas Beatie says that pregnancy did not make him feel more like a woman. "I did not feel maternal or motherly or womanly and pregnant. I felt like Nancy's husband, and I felt like the father of my child."
The Beaties say they were surprised that some gay, lesbian and transgender groups did not support them. Before his appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show in the spring, Thomas Beatie says representatives from several gay and transgender groups warned him not to do it.
"There are six different organizations on the phone doing a conference call with us saying, 'you can't go public. You can't talk about this. You need to hide. You need to be embarrassed.'"
But the Beaties received support from hundreds of individuals.
"We got letters and gifts from all around the world, from gays, lesbians, mainstream America and beyond," Thomas Beatie said. And the Beaties found acceptance among their Oregon neighbors who threw a baby shower for Thomas Beatie a few weeks before his due date.
While Thomas Beatie's body went through changes, so did his wife's. She said, "My breasts started lactating." She has been breast-feeding Susan for four months.
Thomas Beatie says he and his wife are clear on their parental roles. "I am my daughter's father, and that's all I'll ever be to her. Nancy is Susan's mother."
But state officials in Oregon had a different view when it came to the baby's birth certificate. "The nurse in charge of birth certificates came in and said, 'Portland won't allow this. That means, Thomas, we're going to put you as mother and Nancy as father.'"
According to Oregon law, the person who gives birth is normally listed as mother. But when Thomas and Nancy Beatie complained, the certificate was changed again.
"The woman down at Vital Statistics in Portland decided to change it to say Parent/Parent, which is for same-sex couples in a domestic partnership," Thomas Beatie said.
The Beaties insist that they are a married, heterosexual couple and that the birth certificate should list them as father and mother. Legal experts say that regardless of how Thomas Beatie is listed, his parental rights are protected because he is the baby's biological parent. But because she has no biological tie, Nancy Beatie could find her rights threatened.
In order to secure Nancy Beatie's parental rights, legal experts say the Beaties need to do what many same-sex couples with children do and have Nancy Beatie, the nonbiological parent, adopt Susan.
Instead they want to fight to change the birth certificate. They asked the American Civil Liberties Union to take their case but were turned down. They are still seeking legal representation.
"I feel that it's a flawed document," Thomas Beatie said. "We'd like to see this process remedied for the next child, for the next pregnant man."
Life in the Beatie home is pretty typical. Thomas Beatie tends the garden, Nancy Beatie breast-feeds the baby. But while the Beaties paint a picture of themselves as a normal, everyday family, others see them as outsiders and question their claims and motivations. Many have accused the Beaties of going public to profit from their story.
In fact, the Beaties have made some money. They sold photographs of their family to Getty Images, a photo agency, and were paid to appear in a British documentary that will air on the Discovery Health Channel next week.