Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black reveal sex of baby, hit back at surrogacy critics
Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black have revealed the sex of their baby, and hit back at critics over their decision to have a child via surrogacy.
The gay couple, who have been pilloried in the right-wing press after last month announcing they are expecting a child via surrogacy, spoke publicly for the first time about their decision on Fearne Cotton’s podcast Happy Place.
On the podcast, the pair announced the sex of the baby for the first time.
Tom revealed: “We’re going to have a little boy!”.
The pair also put on record some of the details about their child’s conception – confirming that they conceived the child via an egg donor using another woman, who has asked not to be named publicly, as a surrogate.
The pair also revealed that they don’t know and won’t find out which of them is the biological father, having both given sperm samples.
Daley said: “We had the names for our children within a week of knowing each other. From the beginning, we wanted a family.”
Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black added: “There’s no accidental children in this world. There’s no glass of wine, good night, and a baby nine months later. This has been off-and-on two and a half years [in the process].
“Try as we did and have, we just couldn’t get pregnant on our own! Every effort was made, let me tell you.”
Of the decision to use a surrogate, he said: “We have long debated how we build our family. I think part of it flows from… both of us have lost parents at an early age. That teaches you that there’s a connection to the past and the future when it comes to family. Children can help you connect to that.
“There’s just something for both of us, where we felt we’d like to complete that connection when creating our family and to have a biological connection to our past, to bring that into the present and let it grow into the future.
“At least for the first couple – I’ve said many times I’d like to look into adoption for the future, but that has its challenges as well, and is not an easy process for LGBT people in the world right now.”
Black said that he knew gay couples who had been in the process of adopting children only to have them removed from the home – when blood relatives of the child stepped forward to take custody, over objections to same-sex parenting.
He added: “Our gut said surrogacy would be a first way to go, but even then it’s a heck of a process.”
Daley added: “I had no idea how surrogacy worked. I just assumed that it was the person was having the baby, it was their eggs used and that was how it was.
“We did so much research, and I remember just being completely blown away… when I came out, the first thing that worried me was not being able to have children. It made me really sad. That’s why we started looking into surrogacy.
“We were explained how the whole process worked in terms of finding an egg donor and a surrogate. This process has taken us years, to get to the point where we have a surrogate. To go down the route of surrogacy, you have to really really want a child, and we’ve never been so sure of anything.”
Opening up about their choice of surrogate, Black added: “I’ve read a couple of the tweets and there’s some big misconceptions out there about what this process is.
“I’ve never heard of someone who does not know their surrogate, and doesn’t know them well. A part of the process is either choosing someone you know and love and have that relationship with… or you have to build a relationship like that.
“The women who are willing to do this and give this gift to couples who can’t have children – there is a love and a warmth and a generosity and a kindness that’s difficult not to fall in love with.
“We certainly have that with ours. We do love her very much.
“I don’t want to give too many details because she has asked not to be named publicly. We need to respect that, and I hope the press will respect that – but they become family.
“This is a person who we love and are incredibly grateful for.”
Daley added: “We’ve always said we will be very honest and open with our child if they ask questions and want to know how they came into this world. We just have to be very clear, and share the experiences that we’ve had.
“I’ve been writing down a diary with every single step we’ve gone through so that we can explain it to our child. Once the child is born, it’s up to the parents how much the surrogate stays involved. For us, we love her so much that I can’t imagine not ever seeing her again, because we want her to be part of the kids growing up too.”
The pair also hit back at homophobic press coverage since their announcement.
Right-wing newspapers have savaged the pair, with Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn claiming their decision was “not normal” and made him want to vomit.
Even some women’s rights campaigners had criticised them – over false suggestions in the tabloid press that they had “rented” a commercial surrogate.
Tom Daley said: “It’s difficult because you see stuff online. We know we have wanted a kid more than anything in the world. When people judge about us using a surrogate and stuff… there are people who can’t have kids, and I don’t think there would be as much drama if it was a straight couple.
“Take Kim Kardashian, for example – she used a surrogate and there wasn’t any issue with it. There is an element of difference in terms of the way we’ve been treated.”
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Dustin Lance Black, himself a veteran LGBT rights campaigner, said he was “shocked” by the response.
He said: “I do find it really shocking, and I’m not easily shocked – I’ve been in the LGBT rights battle for a long time now and I’ve faced a lot of discrimination. It hasn’t been an easy path and I’ve gotten quite used to that. But I was shocked to have this response to us having a child.
“I think we have to step out of the bliss and be vigilant and correct the record and let people know what this really is – because we need to correct people who are misinformed. That’s the best we can do.”
Black also added that he was planning on taking a career break after the child was born.
He said: “I plan on taking a good long time off so that [Tom] can continue to train and the child can have the attention.”