Harvey Cooper always wanted to be a dad.
And now his dreams are about to come true as he is not only expecting his own child with a surrogate, he has donated his sperm to other women who have become pregnant.
“We have to decide yet whether we will tell the children they are related but at the moment we are just looking forward to becoming parents.”
Harvey has been with his 25-year-old partner Adam Williams for four- and-a-half years.
“I think we brought it up on the very first date actually.
“You know how you talk about life goals to make sure that you both want the same things.
“But it wasn’t until around one year ago that we started the actual process.”
The couple Stainforth had hoped to adopt but that wasn’t to be
“I come from a really big family and so I really wanted to become a dad myself,” says Harvey, 29.
“I was also in the care system until I was 17 and so I really wanted to adopt some siblings, as I know what it is like being in foster care and I wanted to offer them a loving supportive family.”
But Harvey’s hopes were dashed when he and Adam were rejected for adoption.
“I was so upset. Adam has had three kidney transplants and they said they were worried about his health.” But Harvey suspects it may also have had something to do with them being from the LBGTQ community.
“I just couldn’t understand it. We had a lot to offer, a lovely home, stable relationship and financially secure and above all a lot of love.”
Undeterred they set about looking for a surrogate who would have a child using Harvey’s sperm.
Harvey has also donated his sperm to other couples to help them create a family,
“I just want to help people become parents,” he says. “It can be very difficult and expensive when really it doesn’t need to be.”
Harvey and Adam’s surrogate is a family friend and already has her own children and so was happy to help them fulfil their dream.
“We feel very blessed because we know so much can go wrong with a pregnancy,” says Harvey.
“We get to speak to the surrogate everyday and see the baby grow.”
The baby is due to be born in February – and the couple know the gender of the child but are keeping it a secret until they choose to reveal it on social media on October 24.
Their journey is being filmed for a You tube documentary and they are also highlighting their experience via instagram.
“People may think that we haven’t gone down the normal route of getting a surrogate. But if you go through an agency it can cost a lot of money and there are still no legal guarantees at the end of it. Yes, there is a lot of trust involved but we feel happy with what we are doing.”
As all expectant parents, they have spent the last few months shopping and preparing their home for the new arrival.
“We’re almost ready now. If anything we have bought too many things,” says Harvey.
“There’s a little bit of painting left to do in the nursery but other than that we’re good to go.”
The pair are filled with joy at the thought of their little one arriving and their future life together.
“We have so much love to give and we have always wanted a family.
“We can’t wait to become a family unit and watch them grow up and go to school.”
However, Covid-19 has put a wrench in many of their exciting baby celebrations.
“We planned to have a gender reveal party with 40 guests,” says Harvey. “But obviously we have had to cancel that.
“Which is a shame because we spent hundreds of pounds on fireworks and decorations.”
Due to Adam’s has health concerns they have had to be extra careful over the last six months.
“He’s high risk because he’s had three kidney transplants in the past.
“We’re very lucky to have a big garden where we could get fresh air during the lockdown.”
The couple are concerned about the current increase in the virus in South Yorkshire and what the new restrictions might mean for them.
“It’s a scary thought that we might not be able to be at the birth of our own child,” says Harvey.
“With all the rules that came into place the first time around about women having to give birth alone. It’s a huge moment for any parent and we don’t want to miss it.”
The couple are considering a home birth as they feel it is an integral part of the parental journey they want to experience.
“I’ve even bought a birthing pool, but we will have to wait and see,” says Harvey.
Adam and Harvey hope to have another child with the same surrogate in a year’s time if all goes well.
Harvey is passionate about surrogacy, so much so that he has been a donor for others who wanted to start their own families.
“Surrogacy has a bit of a taboo about it here in the UK but not over in the USA.
“We wish it would be considered more normal which is why we are sharing our journey on social media.
“Hopefully by raising awareness and through education, we can get people to see that it’s a perfectly good option for having a baby.”