This study aims to explore the experience of transnational surrogacy and the relationship with the surrogate pre- and post-birth in Italian gay father families. Couple and individual semi-structured interviews were carried out with 30 Italian gay partnered fathers with at least one child born through gestational surrogacy in California or Canada. No couples had known their surrogates or egg donors previously. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis indicated that three interrelated themes could be helpful for understanding the gay fathers' experience of their geographical distance from the surrogate: the perceived loss of control over the pregnancy; the surrogate as a person who facilitates the fathers' feelings of being emotionally connected to their developing child; the surrogate as an ‘aunty’ who, along with her family, maintains a relationship with the fathers. None of the fathers mentioned the egg donor during the interview. The study inspires reflections in offshore fertility practitioners on how pre- and ongoing surrogacy counselling for prospective gay fathers should be tailored. It further calls for the necessity of offering psychological counselling in gay fathers' resident countries in order to promote informed decisions before starting surrogacy abroad and to elaborate on potential difficulties related to surrogacy after the child's birth