By Alyce Collins
THESE GEORDIE dads used one of their female best friends as a surrogate after many “tear-filled” conversations led to them eventually raising a toddler while shrugging off the “strange stares” they attract when out as a family in public.
Marketing and communications manager, Robert Young (31) and marketing assistant Samuel Spiers (28) from Newcastle, UK, had always wanted a family and they aren’t letting society’s outdated opinions stop them from enjoying the experience of raising their daughter, Emily (3).
After meeting on Tinder back in 2015, Rob and Sam are now raising their daughter, who says she is lucky to have two dads. As individuals, the two of them have always aspired to have children of their own, but the route to parenthood always remained a mystery for them.
The pair weren’t together when Rob decided to go through with the surrogacy process he had always contemplated. Rob had spent a long time researching the process and came to the conclusion it would be far too expensive and he may have even had to travel abroad. Rob’s best friend, Emma, heard all of his troubles and she lovingly offered to be his carrier because he wouldn’t have been able to go abroad or afford the costs.
“I was going through the surrogacy by myself at the beginning, and I spoke to Emma about the cost and the heart ache of surrogacy,” said Rob.
“After many tear-filled phone conversations, she offered to carry Emily.
“So we decided to go ahead while I was single as she had her own plans for a second child so the offer had a bit of a time limit on it.
“I met Sam when Emma was about five months along, and he was so supportive and even encouraged me to paint the nursery and was so hands on.
“They met for the first time at the baby shower and Emma shined to him straight away.”
Emma revealed to Rob that she was pregnant with the message “congrats you’re going to be a Daddy!” written on her stomach. As a gestational carrier, Emma carried the egg from an unknown donor, meaning there is a special bond between Emma and young Emily, but they aren’t related.
Emily was born on the June 16, 2015, weighing 8lbs 4oz. Despite having read many negative things in the press about same-sex parenting, Rob and Sam surround themselves by their supportive families, friends and colleagues.
“You can’t really prepare for fatherhood, we just got stuck into it and learnt on the way,” said Rob.
“I was off for six months and Sam pretty much moved in straight away. I also read a sleep training book which we followed to help us.
“We are just like everyone else – Sam and I are both tired, we worry about bills, we work, and we get excited for Christmas. We are no different to other parents.
“We get some weird stares sometimes, but my gut says they are just working out the dynamic rather than thinking anything negative.
“I struggled with the fact that we were unable to offer her breast milk as people say it’s amazing and the best for your baby, but obviously we were unable to give her that.
“We can deal with anything but when you haven’t slept and you’re both working full time it takes a really strong couple to keep it together.
“We just try to reinforce what she has, not what she doesn’t have. When the time comes, and she asks about the donor we will be one-hundred per cent open and explore meeting her together.
“Emily says ‘I’m a lucky girl because I have two daddies’.”
Rob and Sam’s surrogate, Emma, has offered to be their carrier again in the future, and they kept another embryo in storage so hopefully they will be able to give Emily a full brother or sister one day soon.
“If the time is right hopefully it will happen, but if it doesn’t then that’s just our route,” Rob added.
“It’s very expensive so we both have to be in it completely.
“Whatever your route to parenthood, research all the options and pick what is right for you. Surrogacy is the best thing we have ever done, so just do it and make it happen.”
Rob and Sam regularly share their parenting experiences on their Instagram page, @theyoungfamilytrio
For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com