Actually I do, and I am putting this out there as a way of trying to tempt fate into it actually happening. I turn 40 this year and I feel time might not be on my side for too much longer. Now I know guys are lucky in that they can become fathers rather later in life, but that is not something I want to do, I think my 40’s is late enough for me.
This is not a mid-life crisis where I have woken up one day and thought, ‘Oh my God I want to be a father!’, I have always known that I want to be a parent. It is hard to explain just how it feels, but I am sure many people out there will know what I mean by that. I guess it has been this innate yearning inside of me for as long as I can remember. It goes way back to when I was 18 and a good friend of mine got pregnant, it kicked something into gear inside me that said “I want this” and that feeling has never really gone ever since. It has been stronger at certain times than at others, but it has always been there under the surface, in the back of my mind, just there. Over the years I think I believed all messages in society and the media that told me gay men (and women) should not or could not be parents. I simply assumed that as a gay man I had no right to be a father, unlike all the straight men I knew, regardless of their ‘potential’ to be a good or bad parent. But that feeling of wanting to become a dad just never went away, and when I turned 30 not only did I get very broody, I also got a little angry that I had allowed society to convince me that I had no right to realise this dream. By now this yearning had become a physical ache, and being around my friends with children got harder and harder. I decided I would make it happen, or at least make some serious headway into exploring the opportunities I might have.
I initially looked into surrogacy, because that seemed like the best solution for me as a single guy. But, I always came back to the same thing; I never really wanted to do it on my own, I wanted to share the joy, pain, disappointments, hard times and good times etc. I also have this idea that any child I have ought to know who his or her parents are, so that was another reason for me not to go down that path. In the end this was an option I decided against.
After some time I joined a couple of support networks for lesbian and gay people who are already parents, trying to become parents or just thinking about it. My main reason for joining initially was to meet likeminded people and affirm that I was not some freak for wanting this so badly. I met few female couples who were keen for me to be a ‘sperm donor’ but who were not looking for anything more than that. As I have said I want to be involved and know my child and have my child know me. Eventually I was lucky in that I met a great couple who were looking for the same, someone to help them co-parent not just a sperm donor. Unfortunately after a couple of years and some devastating miscarriages we stopped trying.
I thought that was it for me, I genuinely believed that I had missed my chance and that it might be time to give up on this dream, but fate stepped in and has offered me another chance. I could not believe my luck when I met a fantastic woman that shared the same dream as me and was looking for the same thing, after much thought and talk we came to an agreement to become parents together. She and I have started that journey together, not as a ‘couple’ in the traditional sense, but we are in a partnership in that we hope to be parents together. Yes, in an ideal world you would have a partner (some would say husband or wife) to do all this with, but sometimes the ideal just does not happen and you need to make things happen for yourself in other ways.
I know I will be criticised for being so egotistical in my desire and action to become a parent, but isn’t there an element of that in everyone that wants to be a parent even if they are straight and married? Surely the key thing is that any child you have is loved and cared for, what does it matter ‘how’ you have that child?