From Fostering to Surrogacy: Interview with @daddies2george
We're continuing our series of interviews on alternative methods of conception, and we're really delighted that we've been able to champion the stories not only of members of the LGBTQIA+ community but other parents who don't get to tell their story too, such as those who choose to start a family as a single parent.
Now we're back to look at fostering and surrogacy as experienced by a same sex couple. Steven and Conor are two dads raising their 5 year old son, George. They share their journey through fatherhood on their Instagram account @daddies2george and so we wanted to catch up with them to find out a bit more about life in their household.
Read the full interview below.
Firstly, you guys have such a vibrant and colourful Insta feed! You make parenting look like fun 24/7. Please can you share your secrets!?
Steven: I guess with social media you can share all the good bits and leave the hard parts out however, we aim to teach George kindness and acceptance and to embrace each moment no matter how big or small. Myself and Conor go into every moment with George with joy, regardless of how mundane some parenting tasks can be.
You’ve taken us on quite the journey on your Instagram feed. Right from you guys as a dating couple to becoming daddies to baby George. Now he’s 5, can you even remember what it felt like to have him as a newborn baby?
Steven/Conor: From the moment he was born we felt time just fly by and we now realise how precious time can be. We have fond memories of George being a tiny bundle of joy and how we both just felt at peace in our own little bubble, we miss that part a lot. It was the most content we have felt.
Taking you back to the lead up to George’s arrival, when did you guys first start your journey to becoming parents?
Steven/Conor: We started our journey back in early 2015 after we started the process with our local fostering agency to look at the route of fostering to adopt. This is something we are still passionate about doing but at that time, we came in touch with a dear friend who opened the door to surrogacy being an option.
Please can you share with us how you went from exploring fostering to surrogacy?
Steven: Our dear friend, Rebecca, who was a school friend of mine, came into my shop to pick up some flowers and asked how we were getting on with the fostering process and if surrogacy was an option for us. I remember responding with ‘yes’ however the thought of a surrogate we didn’t really know carrying our child appeared very daunting.
In that moment, Rebecca told me she would be more than willing to support us on a surrogacy journey.
I sat on this beautiful selfless offer we had gotten from Rebecca for a few days, we just couldn’t believe that surrogacy could be an option with someone who we knew, loved and trusted.
We spoke and arranged to meet and go over the logistics. Myself and Conor had the important decision to decide whose semen to use and it was so beautiful to see how much Rebecca had researched and how excited she was to bless us with helping to create our family. By 3rd December 2015 our artificial insemination was complete and the waiting began.
16th December 2015… PREGNANT! It worked.
Fast forward 5 years, Rebecca is a very special and important person in our lives and we see her and her children regularly.
If you were to go through the process again, is there anything you would’ve done differently or anything that you wish you’d have known earlier?
Steven: We wouldn’t change anything about our journey. If I could go back I may advise myself to stress less however, who wouldn’t stress when you have a baby on the way?
Are there any specific groups/social parenting communities that have become your go-to hubs as a same sex couple? Are there any you’d like to recommend to our followers?
Steven/Conor: When we first became dads we couldn’t really find a platform for same sex parents, so back in 2017 we started our own called SSPUK (Same Sex Parents UK). This allowed other same sex parents from around the UK to connect with each other and from that we found that were so many other same sex parents to talk to and relate.
We would also recommend The Modern Family Show that our lovely friends @twodads.u.k work on but ultimately if you are looking to keep in contact with other same sex parents, you will find a whole load of beautiful families on Instagram.
Is there anything you think parenting brands could do differently to be more inclusive? Or is there anything you’d like to add about this topic in general? Do you feel excluded or do you find that society is becoming more inclusive as a whole?
Steven: We have starred in a few ads and promoted ourselves for what we really are and that’s a modern day family.
It’s great to see some companies using real families from all walks of life on the TV screen, but we need more! I would love to see it balanced out and for companies to feel comfortable allowing two men kiss on adverts, I find some companies will tend to cast two women in a more intimate setting rather than two men.
Finally, what’s your favourite thing about being a dad?
Steven/Conor: Our favourite thing is watching George grow into a remarkable young man and creating that change we wish to see.
Steve and Conor, thank you so much!
Don't forget to check out the links to all the great resources shared by Conor and Steven. And, of course, remember to check out their Instagram page to follow their journey.