### A Single Woman’s Journey: Co-Parenting with Her Gay Best Friend

A woman and her LGBTQ+ best friend have made the decision to embark on the journey of parenthood together in a unique co-parenting arrangement.

Nicola Slawson, a 39-year-old freelancer, had always envisioned having a child but found herself contemplating single parenthood as she approached her mid-30s, concerned about the impact of age on her fertility. The prospect of shouldering the financial responsibilities of conception and raising a child alone added to her apprehensions.

However, her perspective shifted when she discovered that one of her single gay friends shared her desire to become a parent. Encouraged by a previous experience where she witnessed a successful co-parenting dynamic between friends, she approached her friend Tom Hayes with the idea of co-parenting, and he enthusiastically accepted.

Their decision to pursue co-parenting was influenced by a heartwarming encounter Slawson had while serving on a jury at the Old Bailey. She befriended a woman and her wife who had chosen to involve their gay friend in the conception process, leading to a loving co-parenting relationship that inspired Slawson.

The duo meticulously planned their co-parenting journey, engaging in in-depth discussions about various aspects of parenting, including legal matters, financial arrangements, living arrangements for the baby’s first year, parenting styles, and emotional support in case of challenges like difficulty conceiving or miscarriage.

After receiving positive support from their families, Slawson and Hayes commenced their conception efforts using intracervical insemination, commonly known as the “turkey baster” method. Their dedication and planning paid off when Slawson became pregnant after just a month of trying, with their baby expected to arrive in the spring.

The anticipation and joy of impending parenthood have filled both Slawson and Hayes with gratitude and disbelief, as they prepare to embrace this new chapter in their lives with excitement and readiness.