WHEN Zoe and Polly Goswell-Milne sat down for dinner at a Harvester restaurant with Phil*, their fellow diners probably didn’t guess that they had met up to talk about making a baby together.
The Southampton couple met Phil through a website which matches couples who want a baby with potential sperm donors.
After a two-hour chat, they then spent around six months getting to know each other better before going ahead with trying to get Polly pregnant. And it took three attempts a month for 11 months for her to fall pregnant with Floki, now almost three months old, who they affectionately call their rainbow baby.
“There aren’t really any unplanned pregnancies in committed same-sex relationships!” laughs Polly, 29.
“With same sex couples, you have to plan everything,” adds Zoe, 26.
“There’s no ‘well, maybe it will happen,’ like there can be for heterosexual couples.”
Zoe and Polly have been together for five years and began the process of trying to have a baby soon after they were married, 2 years ago.
“I knew I wanted to be a mum and I wanted to be married and have kids by the time I was 30,” says Polly. “That was my aim.
“It was always going to be me who carried the first child.”
“If we have another one, it will be Polly who carries it too, and then if I did feel I wanted to carry a baby, we’d try for a third,” adds Zoe.
“We are married and Zoe’s name is on the birth certificate, so it doesn’t really make any difference who carried him,” says Polly.
The pair admit that they didn’t know what their options were when they first decided to try for a baby.
“We didn’t want someone we know to be the donor,” says Polly.
“We thought it might lead to complications, with whether or not they would want to know the child, and they might want to get involved with parenting, which we didn’t want.”
Luckily, they went to an alternative parenting show where they came across Pride Angel, which functions similarly to a dating site, matching people wanting children with potential donors.
They explain that it was important for them to know that their donor, Phil, was offering to help for the right reasons – which is why they took so long to get to know him.
“Phil had helped some university friends and I think he realised that it was such an amazing thing to do and so rewarding that he wanted to help more families. He’s helped five or six families, and given a lot of them more than one child.”
It was a big commitment from Phil, who received no payment or expenses for his help.
“He’d come over and we’d all have tea and biscuits, then he’d go upstairs and do what he needed to do and then go on the landing and give a big cough and we’d collect the sample and do what we had to do,” says Polly.
“He’s a fantastic man. We let him know when Floki was born. He’s happy for the kids to know who he is,” says Zoe.
“That wasn’t really important to us, but it’s nice that we will be able to point Floki in the right direction if he has questions.”
“Floki will have to know how he came about so we’ll be open and honest with him, so it will be good that we know who our donor is,” says Polly.
“We couldn’t have afforded to buy sperm online – not for 11 cycles,” she adds.
“And some online sites are very seedy. You get women who are so desperate to get pregnant that they will do anything and the donor will ask for NI – natural insemination – as a kind of payment, which we didn’t want to have anything to do with.”
The pair consider themselves very fortunate to have found Pride Angel and such a helpful donor, and want to make sure that other would-be parents realise that having a baby in this way is an option.
“I also think it’s important that people can see there’s a degree of normality in a gay relationship,” adds Polly.
“We have the same issues and problems as any other family.
“We get asked a lot of questions about Floki, how he was conceived and how we function as a family, and I think it’s important for people to ask those questions and get answers so that it becomes natural and it’s not an issue for anyone else.
“We get asked quite often who the man is in our relationship and I think that’s quite funny because neither of s is the man – that’s the point! People ask us who is his mummy, but we’re both his mummy.”
“I have two mums and they have friends who are also two mums, and I think in that generation, it’s more like one of them is the mum-mum and one is the dad-mum,” says Zoe.
“But I think things have changed and now people are more comfortable with just being who they are. I think it’s linked to the idea that there are ‘men’s jobs’ and ‘women’s jobs’.
“I am very involved. I hope I give Polly everything she needs. I do go to work, which means I don’t do as much at night, but I hope going to work is useful!”
The couple know that there may be issues ahead of them, and feel that the potential for bullying at school may be an issue, but are sure Floki will always feel loved and supported, by his immediate and wider family and their friends.
“I’d like him to feel completely normal,” says Polly.
“He just has two mummies.”
“I don’t mind if he’s proud of it,” adds Zoe. “He’ll know that two people loved each other and wanted him so much that they went to all that effort to have him.”
*Not his real name.
Article source: www.dailyecho.co.uk 19th July 2017