This Father’s Day we are honouring the amazing father-figures in our lives and celebrating the various shapes and sizes of the families around us.
Earlier this month we chatted with Ben and Alexander. They shared with us their unique surrogacy experience and their journey into fatherhood.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
We are Ben and Alexander living in South East London with our new daughter Zara. Ben, from Lincolnshire, works at a performing arts college where he has been for 5 years. Alexander, from New York City, owns a travel themed restaurant in London, which he opened in the height of the pandemic.
How did you two meet?
We met working on cruise ships in 2013, we were both working in Entertainment with Alexander being Ben's boss. It wasn't exactly love at first sight, it took a few weeks for their animosity to turn into something more "friendly".
Have you always wanted children?
On our first date Alexander asked Ben 2 questions, these are make or break for date 2, "do you smoke? Do you want kids? Ben correctly answered "No/Yes", that’s when we knew it was the start of something good!
How did you know it was time to start the surrogacy process?
We had been together for 6 years, married for 4 years and felt settled and secure in all other aspects of our life/relationship to take the next step.
Did you undertake lots of research beforehand?
Were there any resources that were particularly helpful? After deciding that the Uk surrogacy route was not for us, Ben spent weeks researching different surrogacy agencies all over the world. We settled on an agency that specialized in same sex surrogacy in North America.
Can you tell us about the steps and processes of your surrogacy journey?
In February of 2020, we flew to Mexico to start the process. We met the team that we would eventually spend the next two years working with and signed on the dotted line. Our journey was not too dissimilar to many couples that we have spoken with. It took 2 egg donors and 7 transfers (one miscarriage) to finally get pregnant with our daughter Zara.
What did it feel like bringing Zara home for the first time?
For us, bringing Zara home was slightly different. As she was born in Mexico, this meant we had to stay there until we received her birth certificate and passport before we could come home to the UK. Finally when it was time to return home to the UK, this involved a four hour drive and a ten hour flight. Walking into our own home and being able to introduce Zara to her fur brothers and family was amazing.
What has surprised you the most about being a dad?
The overwhelming love We have for our daughter is more than we ever expected
What are your favourite things to do as a family?
We always said that when we have a baby, we would do our best to carry on with our lives as best we could. This now involves Zara. We take her out and about, we go for playdates and lunches in central London. Zara is obsessed with any aquarium!
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering having a baby through surrogacy?
It is so important to do your research; on the company/agency, as well as the country the agency is in. There are different laws and different exit procedures for every country. We also found it helpful talking to other couples that have gone through surrogacy, especially couples that did it in Mexico. The main advice we have is: GO FOR IT! It can be a long and emotional road, but it is so worth it
Celebrate with us this Father’s Day by entering our Instagram giveaway!