Gay couple who used a surrogate say they ignore ‘weird stares’

Gay couple who used their best friend as a surrogate say they’ve learned to ignore the ‘weird stares’ their family gets – and reveal their daughter, three, feels ‘lucky’ to have two dads

  • Robert Young, 31, and Samuel Spiers, 28, from Newcastle met on Tinder in 2015
  • Prior to the couple falling in love, Rob anguished over whether to have children alone but decided surrogacy would be too expensive
  • His friend Emma agreed to help him – and he met Samuel five months into her pregnancy with their daughter Emily 
  •  The couple say they ‘get some weird stares’ but are now planning a second child

Two gay dads raising a three-year-old together have revealed how a female friend helped them to have a child.

Robert Young, 31, from Newcastle, spent years anguishing over whether he should become a parent alone using a surrogate but decided that the process would prove too expensive. 

However, when his friend, Emma, offered to give birth to a child using a donated egg and his sperm, he decided to go ahead – just months before meeting his partner Samuel Spiers, 28, also from Newcastle, on Tinder.

Samuel Spiers, 28, and Robert Young, 31, with their daughter Emily, three, who was born using Young’s best friend as a surrogate

Happy together: The couple say their family dynamic occasionally prompts ‘strange stares’ in the street but the overwhelming response to their LGBT family has been positive

Young spent years anguishing about whether he should have a surrogate to become a single father; when his friend Emma fell pregnant with his child, he met Spiers, who agreed to co-parent the baby

Little Emily, now three, tells people that she’s ‘lucky’ to have two dads

Surrogate Emma was five months’ pregnant when Rob and Sam met and the couple say they love being dads to little Emily, even if their family dynamic sometimes means they get ‘weird stares’ in the street.   

Marketing and communications manager Rob spent a long time researching the surrogate process and came to the conclusion it would be far too expensive – and he may have even had to travel abroad. 

After listening to her friend’s angst, Emma, already a mother, agreed to carry his child.

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He explains: ‘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.

The couple say they have all the usual worries that any other parents have including paying bills and not getting enough sleep 

Thriving: While the couple said they wanted breastmilk for Emily when she was little, they accepted that that wasn’t possible 

The couple are documenting their parenting experiences on their Instagram page @theyoungfamilytrio

‘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.

Emily arrived into Young and Spiers’ world on June 16th 2015, weighing 8lbs 4oz

The couple met on dating app Tinder in 2015 ( pictured on holiday with family in Cyprus)

‘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

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