One of Britain’s first single dads by surrogate, 42, hails six-month-old son as a ‘miracle’ and praises ‘incredibly selfless’ egg donor and friend who carried his baby
- Teacher David Watkins, 42, welcomed son Miles into the world on July 19, 2020
- He is one of the first single fathers to take advantage of change in surrogacy law
- Previously only couples were able to become legal parents of surrogate babies
- Says it was important he had a ‘biological’ connection to now six-month-old son
One of Britain’s first single dads by surrogate has praised the ‘incredibly selfless women’ who helped him become a father to six-month-old son Miles.
Teacher David Watkins, 42, from Southampton, is one of the first single men in the UK to have a surrogate baby after a law change in January 2019, welcoming Miles into the world on July 19 2020.
Appearing on Lorraine today, he hailed his son a ‘miracle’ and said that his surrogate Faye Spreadbury, 37, from Leicester, will very much remain part of his son’s life in the future.
Mother-of-two Faye volunteered to carry a child for David, using his sperm and the eggs of an anonymous donor, after the pair met at a social event in July 2019 and ‘instantly clicked’.
Teacher David Watkins, 42, from Southampton, is one of the first single men in the UK to have a surrogate baby after a law change in January 2019. Pictured, David with six-month-old son Miles
He met Faye Spreadbury, 37, from Leicester, East Midlands, at a social event. Faye, who is a mother-of-two, reached out to David and eventually became his surrogate
‘He’s the light of my life really,’ said David of his son, ‘I’m so incredibly lucky, he’s a miracle. I’m so blessed, he’s such a smiley happy boy’.
Previously, only couples were able to apply for a parental order, which transfers parentage from the surrogate to the intended parents after the baby is born.
This meant that single parents were unable to get a parental order and, theoretically, the surrogate could reclaim the child at any time.
Fortunately for David, the law changed in 2019 to allow single parents to also apply for the order to become the child’s legal parent.
David chose an anonymous egg donor who had similar characteristics to himself such as Caucasian background and blue eyes
Appearing on Lorraine today, he hailed his son a ‘miracle’ and praised the ‘incredibly selfless women’ who helped him become a father
Speaking of his decision to become a single parent, David went on: ‘I was always very happy being single. I had relationships over the years, but it just didn’t work out that way in the end.
‘But I moved into a place where I was absolutely fine being a single dad and I celebrate that, I wouldn’t have it any other way now.’
David admitted that he ‘never thought he would get here’ and thanked both Faye and the anonymous donor for helping him to become a father.
David admitted that he ‘never thought he would get here’ and thanked both Faye and his anonymous donor. David is pictured holding his now six-month-old son Miles
David and Faye kept in regular contact and visited one another’s hometowns during the pregnancy
How has the law for single parents by surrogate changed?
When a baby is born by surrogate parental rights do not immediately transfer to the intended parents.
Instead, the parents have to apply for a parental order which transfers rights from the surrogate mother to them.
This process can take several months and can only begin after a child is born.
Previously, only couples could apply for a parental order.
This meant that single parents by surrogacy could theoretically see their child or children taken back by the surrogate at any time.
In 2016, the government conceded that the law discriminated against single parents when the president of the family division of the court declared it incompatible with human rights legislation
In 2019, the law changed to allow single parents to apply for a parental order.
The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018 came into force in January 2019.
‘I was helped by two incredibly selfless women,’ said David. ‘Faye who was my surrogate and an anonymous egg donor’.
After three months of getting to know one another, Faye and David began the embryo transfer process in October 2019.
David had four embryos ‘ready and waiting’ at CRGH fertility clinic in London. A pregnancy test revealed Faye was carrying David’s child in November 2019.
When asked whether he’s received any criticism about is choice, David said: ‘Any time we create our own families we do it on a sort of selection basis.
‘When people get together on their first date with a lifetime ahead they are making selections about what that person looks like; do they find them attractive? Do they want to go on a second date?
‘Nothing is ever random I don’t think. I was able to choose very basic characteristics I was looking for.’
David chose an anonymous egg donor who had similar characteristics to himself such as Caucasian background and blue eyes.
‘It was really important I had a biological connection to Miles that was something I wanted to do.
Surrogate Faye Spreadbury, 37 (centre), with David Watkins (right) and her husband Lee (left) at the 20 week scan
He added later: ‘At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what Miles ends up looking like, whether he looks like me or the egg donor.
‘But at that time I felt it was important I had a physical connection to him so I chose things that were similar, hair colour skin colour, similar height’.
David added that he’s had ‘loads of support’ from his friends and family, and that he couldn’t be happier with his decision and has a ‘calm and loving home’ with his son.
As for whether David will be expanding his brood in the future, he said: ‘Potentially, I’m not sure, being a single parent is tough. It’s been very overwhelming at times.
‘If I could do it all again, I don’t think its feasible at the moment, but never say never! I always wanted an army of kids so we’ll have to reassess in a couple of years time.’
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