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We Are Family: A Conversation with TwoDaddies.Co.UK

Today, when we think of family, no single image comes to mind. Nowadays, the typical family structure includes blended families, single parent families and same-sex parent families.

With this in mind, we have asked parent bloggers in the UK to share their experiences raising their families in today's world.

Joining us today are Wes and Michael from twodaddies.co.uk. Wes and Michael are parents who advocate for same-sex parenting and surrogacy in the UK. They have kindly shared their wonderful family story with us: 

Q: How did the family construct in which you now live evolve?

A: I met Wes 7 years ago at Birmingham Pride. I knew fairly quickly that he was going to be the one I marry, there was an instant draw to him.  I even told a friend (who thought I was a complete weirdo for thinking this!) the week after I met Wes.

I’ve always wanted children, and always knew I’d have a big family too.  Wes and I spoke about having a family about 6-12 months after meeting, we were engaged after 6 months and married within 2 years of meeting. 

Wes had a daughter from a previous marriage, so getting to know Katie was great and being a step-father stood me in good practice for what lay ahead.  Shortly before we got married we started researching Surrogacy, both International options and UK – and after 3 years of research the UK was the route for us.  We found ourselves a clinic that specialised in same sex surrogacy and we asked them to find us a suitable egg donor.  This process took around 6 months. 

In the meantime, we were networking with surrogates, but one in particular was always going to be the one we’d match with. We got to know her and her family for around 9/10 months and then fertility treatment began. We transferred one embryo on the 13th February 2016, two weeks later we took a pregnancy test and boom – we’re pregnant! 

Talulah arrived safely on the 16th October 2016, at 6am, weighing 8lb. Fast forward almost 2 and a half years and we’re now pregnant again, but this time with our son [due this summer] – with our same surrogate.  We’re super happy and beyond excited.

Q: How do people in your environment respond to your family? Have you ever felt discriminated against as a family? If so, how did you handle the situation?

A: We’ve been lucky really, I can honestly say we haven’t had any direct prejudices – we’ve had trolls comment nasty idiotic comments online, but those just get deleted. I don’t pay them any attention, it’s just not worth it. These are the type of keyboard warriors that sit in their bedrooms alone all day, hating life wishing they could be as fabulous as us, but they can’t – and they never will be! 😉 

We get more curious questioning about our family set up, which I’m happy with, as it’s all about educating people about UK Surrogacy – and same sex parenting.  Its why we do what we do with TwoDads.U.K and our website www.twodaddies.co.uk  I guess the only discrimination we feel is when our family or our marriage is [not] respected in certain countries – but that’s quite simple – we just don’t grace them all with our presence, and we take our money elsewhere!

Q: On a scale of 0 to 10: How much do you feel your family model is accepted by society? (0 = not accepted at all, 10 = fully accepted)

A: Honestly, I think 9 – we’re just parents parenting – and the majority of society don’t see any different either.

We (Wes and Michael) are on a mission to help raise awareness of Same-Sex Parenting and help normalise our own modern family, as we hopefully help shine the spotlight, positively on families like ours, with either two mommies or two daddies.  We have been involved in various media and advertising campaigns supporting brands such as Audi, Vodafone and Sainsburys to name a few. We’re now writing regularly for Fertility Road Magazine as their resident parents through fertility treatment.  We’re already very proud to have already supported implementing change in the UK with the introduction of new guidance to Healthcare professionals issued by the Department of Health in February 2018 advising how to fairly treat Surrogates and Intended Parents (IP’s). More recently in October 2018 we were invited to the Houses of Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in relation to the Surrogacy Law Reform to provide the panel of MP's an account of our 'lived experience' as two dads via UK Surrogacy. We’re now actively supporting the Law Commission in England with the recent proposal ‘Building Families through Surrogacy: a new law’ and we hope to see this implemented by 2023.  We’re passionate about helping other couples navigate their way to achieving their dreams of becoming parents and our organisation TwoDads.U.K is achieving this by supporting intended fathers and UK fertility clinics.

 

As every family is unique, we want to hear from parent bloggers with different structures and experiences. If you are a parent blogger and would like to take part in the We Are Family series, please get in touch with sophie.moran(at)care.com. Hashtags: #wearefamily #familyforeveryone #familyfirst

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