Single woman shares experience of having baby with gay best friend

A woman and her gay best friend have decided to have a baby together and “finally experience parenthood” in a beautiful co-parenting set-up.

39-year-old Nicola Slawson always wanted a baby. However, being happily single, she first considered having a baby alone when she reached her mid-30s, daunted by the idea of her fertility declining.

As a freelancer, she worried about being able to afford to conceive and then raise a child on her own. So, when she realised that one of her single gay friends also wanted to have a baby, she popped the question to him – and he was delighted.

Slawson had been inspired to explore platonic co-parenting after she served on the jury of a trial at the Old Bailey five years ago. Whilst there, she befriended a woman with two children; she and her wife had decided that they wanted to start a family naturally, and so they asked their gay friend if he’d be willing to donate sperm.

“He didn’t just want to be a donor, he wanted to be a dad,” Slawson wrote in The Guardian. “They decided to platonically co-parent together. It was clear how loved the children were.”

Inspired by her new friend’s story, she decided to be brave and ask her friend, Tom Hayes, whether he’d like to embark on a similar journey with her. The pair initially had the conversation down the pub, and later cemented the idea through hours and hours of planning.

“We like to joke that no baby has ever been as discussed or considered as much in advance,” Slawson wrote.

“There were difficult conversations where we shared our worst fears about how it could go wrong, such as the awful possibility of some kind of ugly custody battle. We discussed everything from the legal side of things to finances (we agreed to split everything 50/50).

“We talked about where the baby would live in their first year of life (at mine, with him here, too). We talked about our approaches to parenting; what would happen if we had trouble getting pregnant and how we’d support each other if we had a miscarriage.”

After sharing their plans with both sets of parents, Slawson and Hayes were welcomed with open arms. They started trying using intracervical insemination (ICI, referred to colloquially as the “turkey baster” method), which involves using a disposable, needleless syringe to inject sperm into the vagina.

The pair got pregnant after a month of trying and now, their baby is due in the spring.

“Neither of us can believe this is really happening after years of thinking we might never have children,” Slawson concluded.

“But there really is a little baby in there – and this spring we will finally experience parenthood, all by ourselves.”