A 42-year-old man has become a solo parent after finding a surrogate and egg donor.
Tired to waiting to find a man who also dreamt of becoming a dad, David Watkins, a teacher from Southampton, decided to become a solo parent.
In January 2019 a law passed that gave him the ability as a single person to become the legal parent of his own child conceived through surrogacy.
He is now one of the first men in Britain to become a solo parent through Surrogacy UK, thanks to a selfless surrogate and anonymous egg donor.
David welcomed his son Miles, now six months old, into the world on July 19 2020.
He says: ‘I have always wanted to be a dad. I am a teacher and love being an educator and role model.
‘I used to envy dads who came to pick their children up at the end of a school day and put their kid on their shoulders.
‘I became completely struck with the thought of becoming a dad but never met a man who shared the same desire.
‘As I approached 40, I started looking into how I could do it alone. I didn’t want to waste time meeting someone for it to possibly not work out.’
He said before the law changed he had doubts over going abroad for surrogacy, which would have meant faking a relationship in order to have his name on the birth certificate – as well as requiring a lot of money.
When the law changed in the UK, he was ‘elated’.
Things then developed when he met Faye Spreadbury, 37, from Leicester, at a Surrogacy UK social event.
Faye, who is a mum-of-two, reached out to David as she was keen to help him pursue fatherhood.
David said: ‘Faye and I met in July 2019 and we instantly clicked. She didn’t want to have any more children of her own but wanted to help others.
‘I was so grateful that she approached me and wanted to help as she was amazing.’
After three months of getting to know one another, the pair began the embryo transfer process in October 2019.
David had four embryos ‘ready and waiting’ at CRGH fertility clinic in London.
He chose an anonymous egg donor who had similar characteristics to himself, such as a Caucasian background and blue eyes.
‘I wanted to match the donor’s characteristics to mine,’ he said. ‘At the time I felt it important my baby looked like me. I had this need to be instantly recognisable as his father.
‘Having that clear biological connection was one of the reasons I choose surrogacy instead of fostering or adoption. But, now he’s here, these things matter less and less.’
Not once did David worry about Faye changing her mind, calling the experience an ‘extreme form of babysitting’.
Throughout the pregnancy, David and Faye kept in touch and visited each other. David also left voice recordings for her to play to Miles while he was in the womb.
He planned to stay in Faye’s hometown two weeks before and after the due date, but on the day after he arrived she went into labour.
‘He definitely knew my voice which might have prompted him to come early,’ said David.
Miles weighed a healthy 7lb 8oz and was born in a birthing pool, which David sat in too. Describing the moment, he said he ‘instantly felt a connection’.
David admits parenting can be tough without a partner, but he stays in contact with Faye’s family and couldn’t be happier.
The new father has since launched his own website to support other single dads by choice.
‘We FaceTime The Spreadburys to keep in contact,’ David added. ‘They will always be in our lives.
‘I have already told Miles about how he got here – I am very open.
‘I’ve had a very positive experience and I want other single men to know they can do it too!
‘It is hard being a single parent but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being a single dad is quite liberating as I can raise him exactly how I want.’
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