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Book Review + Winging ItPARENTHOOD OPTIONS

Becoming a parent, in principle, seems pretty straightforward, right?

Until recent years parenthood normally occurred when a man met a woman and fingers crossed the wife would fall pregnant and give birth to a gorgeous baby. In the unfortunate event that the couple could not fall pregnant, then there was the adoption route or IVF. Recent years has seen the relaxation of the laws in South Africa so much so that it became much more inclusive. It now permits any person regardless of their sex to become a parent either through adoption or surrogacy. The change in law saw many same-sex couples, single gay men, single women becoming parents either through adoption or surrogacy.

So it was only when Jonathan Kaplan’s story about him about to become a dad broke that the public became aware of a single heterosexual man becoming a parent through surrogacy.

No girlfriend!

No wife!

Again, not GAY!

Just Jonathan Kaplan (aka JK) literally paving his own path to fatherhood. To be honest I could totally relate to his decision.

I relate because I still remember the year I turned 40 and turning to my then partner and now hubby and basically informing him that I wanted to become a dad. Yes, I informed him and didn’t ask about becoming a dad. I wanted to become a parent so bad I was willing to embark on the journey on my own.  

When Pan MacMillan South Africa announced the release of “Winging It“, a book about Jonathan’s story to parenthood authored by Joanne Jowell, I turned to hubby and told him that we needed to get a copy. I wanted to read all about Jonathan’s experience. Needless to say, I was super excited when I received a book drop from Pan Macmillan early April this year and it was Winging It! I literally could not contain my excitement.

Excitement levels peaked because I recognised JK from all the rugby matches I’d watched with my hubby.

Then I had the priviledge of attending the book launch at Hyde Park Shopping Centre and meeting both Jonathan and Joanne.


As hubby and I became dads through adoption, I was super keen to understand how JK was finding fatherhood. Had his experiences with his son been similar to ours? Did he yearn to be with Kaleb (JK’s son) as often as possible? Did he use breastmilk or formula? We had the option of both when our son first came home, but we opted to stick with formula, so I was keen to understand his choice. Would he be honest with his son about his mother or how he came to be? Did he stress when Kaleb became ill?

So many questions that I had to find the answers. Especially from someone that is on a similar path to ours. 

Joanne’s style of writing makes you feel a part of the experience. I found the book riveting and refreshingly engaging. At times we read books about people we know and then find that the way in which that person is portrayed isn’t accurate. In this instance, from the brief encounter with Jonathan at the book launch, Joanne was spot on. I got to experience a tad of his “aloofness” during our chat as he attempted to answer my question about how he handles Mothers Day at his son’s school and wanting to get to the desk to sign more copies of his book. Just as quickly as I experienced the ‘ref on the field demeanor’, the more relaxed persona replaced it. He became more engaging.


“My nature is to scratch, to go beneath the surface.” – Jonathan Kaplan


Book Review + Winging ItThe level of detail is astounding. So much so, that I believe anyone considering the surrogacy route to parenthood should literally take a leaf from it! It’s really well researched and informative without boring the reader. 

If you’re a gay dad or single dad or just a dad that loves reading, get the book as you will be able to relate to so much of what Jonathan has experienced thus far. If you don’t fit into any of those categories and are keen on becoming a parent, I highly recommend you get the book. It’s worth it!


” Sometimes in life I was dealt some dodgy cards. I often had to confront the challenges as a lone ranger.” – Jonathan Kaplan


Yay/Nay – YAY- definitely recommend this book. 

You can purchase a copy of the book at your local Exclusive Books or at other leading online stores such as Loots, Reader’s Warehouse or Raru.  

Retail Cost – from R250




About The Author


Parenting and Lifestyle Dad Blogger. If you enjoyed this post feel free to share it, or if you would like to engage with me you can find me on TWITTER @twodadsandakid or INSTAGRAM @twodadsandakid Follow my blog so you never miss out!


  1. Mom

    Wow. This is a great review. I have heard about Thai story so i think I need to just go out and get he book!
    Thanks. #sabloggerscafe

    • Emanuel

      Thank you, it’s an amazing read. Found very informative too 🙂


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