to consider having a baby with my gay best friend?(81 Posts)
This is a name-change, for obvious reasons!
Context: I have a funny relationship with my ex. We met 16 years ago and split up three years later, just before I found out I was pregnant with our son. It was an amicable enough split, just in different places with our lives (and age gap was a problem). But we have stayed amicable, to the extent that he has a key to my house and we are very much raising our disabled son together, as he needs us both to be consistent. He comes to our house and doesn't have our son at his, and we go on holiday together BUT we don't live together and definitely aren't together.
However, we slept together on holiday last year and it continued happening when we got back. I ended up pregnant, and didn't tell him, while I decided what to do. I was very confused about the pregnancy and only told a couple of close friends. I eventually decided to go ahead with it and had started to get excited, despite all the many reasons why it would make life difficult, and was due to tell ex over the Christmas holidays, but had a miscarriage before I did so.
I am (obviously) in a funny place after the miscarriage and have gone from thinking being pregnant was mostly difficult and complicated to wishing I still was. I had got myself in a positive place about it and to miscarry was pretty shattering.
I don't want to properly get back with my ex, and I don't know if I'm able to think about meeting someone different, for complicated reasons that I won't bore anyone with, mainly to do with my son's acceptance of new people in my life. However, I am pretty convinced now that I do want another child. I don't think my ex would want another child, and I don't intend to 'get pregnant accidentally', so I am thinking about options.
My best friend is a gay man. We used to joke about having a baby together if I didn't meet anyone by my mid-30s, but it was just jokes. He is the closest person to me apart from family, and we are very similar in many ways. When I told him I was pregnant, I could tell he was struggling with it a bit; he kept joking about how people would think it was his (which is possibly true - some people do think we're a couple) and I really wanted him to have a role in it all. He looked after my son for me when I went to hospital and has been really supportive with it all.
He's a really amazing man who I love (not in that way, but that's a good thing in terms of stability) and would make a great father. And I think he has started to want children. I am used to sharing parenting with a man who doesn't live with me and there'd be no romantic/ sexual complications like there are with my ex.
Is this completely bonkers or is it something that could work? I know people will say I'm just reacting to the miscarriage, but in reality, I think the miscarriage has just woken me up to the fact that there's something missing in my life that I used to want. There's no going back to before the miscarriage but, even if there was, I'm not sure I'd want to as life had got very stagnant. I have a career that I love and my son has progressed massively, to the extent that I think he will be an independent adult, but I have got so used to living life around work and my son that I feel I have forgotten to think about what I want.
And I want another child, and don't have much time left. So, AIBU to
be even considering this?
It sounds mad but so what. Think about it for a few more months and if its still what you want to do then talk about it.
I would hate to be sat in a nursing home at 90 wishing I had done what I wanted.
I think it depends on how active a role your friend would take in any child's life. If he would be a fully committed, active, involved parent then it might work despite being an unconventional arrangement. If he was to be, effectively, a sperm donor only and take no active role in the child's life then I think that's unfair and to knowingly bring a child into the world without a father would be a selfish thing to do. I realise this is probably an unpopular and unfashionable view though....
So sorry you lost your baby.
Have you considered what would happen if you did meet a new partner, or your friend did?
It's not an awful idea but it would be wise to think about how well you would work together as parents (as views can vary very widely) and what would happen in the event your friendship broke down.
Back2basics-that's exactly my fear: I reach old age and think 'I wish...'.
Jcw: no, I agree. I would want him to be very much involved (and we do see each other every day now, so not seeing him would not be the plan). I want a baby with him, not from him.
Caillindana: thank you. New partners would be complicated, but I already have so much baggage with ex and son that they'd have to be a bravve man anyway!
So sorry for your loss OP. I don't think it's mad to consider having a baby with a stable person who would make a great parent. Have you spoken to your friend yet?
Whatever he thinks I'm sure that you're sensible enough to wait a few weeks at least to try and recover somewhat from your miscarriage.
Best of luck whatever you decide.
The friendship is pretty solid. Over a decade. I trust nobody as much as I trust him.
I can see why you would want to do this but I would be worried it would change your relationship with your friend. I mean it would definitely change, but what if that change was for the worse? You stand to lose too much.
But on the positive side, this has started to make you think and now you can really explore your options, looking into sperm donation etc.
I'm also sorry for your loss op .
I can think of few worse things than scuppering a good friendship by complicating it like this.
OK it'll be (I assume AI)
But isn't it worse to regret having a child than to regret not having the one that you don't have?
In your shoes , if I really wanted DC2, I'd do it via Sperm Donor.
(-Actually, in my shoes, I wouldn't at all)
Sorry, my phone is playing up! Was trying to says thanks to you, thatisall. I have spoken to him as I couldn't not. We tell each other pretty much everything. He is thinking. I really couldn't lose him from my life, but I kind of wonder why I would? Ex and I had more barriers to us getting on than he and I would.
I don't want a sperm donor as I do think two parents, in a relationship or not, is something I want for a second child. It has massively benefited my first.
Thank you all for your advice and best wishes. It's obviously not easy to discuss it in real life, especially as so few people knew that I was even pregnant before.
I would tentatively discuss with friend and see what he thinks and just go for it. Sounds a much better basis for a warm family life than many I know. Good luck.
Have you spoken to your ex about this? From your post it seems as if you may still be sleeping together because you talk about not wanting to get 'accidently pregnant'. I would have a proper heart to heart with your ex before you start thinking of other fathers.
Your ex sounds like a good bet to me, it seems as if your ex already offers a stable shared parenting relationship, you already care for your ds,you holiday together and you imply that he is reliable and loving to your ds. Maybe he would actually like more children but has never wanted to say that to you. You should definately tell him about the miscarriage, it may allow him the same clarity that you have had.
I would go down this avenue before even contemplating complicating a brilliant relationship with your friend, even if you were 100% positive he wanted children.
I think his concerns are sensible. Many strong romantic relationships are tested by the arrival of a little one. I'm sure he's concerned that likewise your relationship as friends would be tested and I'm sure it will. Plenty to discuss. It could work out brilliantly for all involved.
Also i wonder if the dynamics between you and your ex would change considerably if you were pregnant with a baby by your friend. Would you be prepared for this and would this affect your son?
How old are you OP? Might you meet someone and have another child?
Christmas is a very recent time. It may be that you are just so keen to fill the void you now feel. Gay parenting websites are helpful re:known donor advantages and disadvantages. Look at the legal ramifications too.
My biggest worry is you're creating a very complicated and confusing parenting situation for your child and potential child. Will having a baby with your best friend complicate relations with your ex? If you meet someone later, are you prepared for having three father figures in your children's life?
I really think you need to talk to your ex, especially about your miscarriage. If I'm reading correctly he is not aware at all? I believe you need to discuss it, and I think you may have unresolved feelings in part by keeping this information from him. And if there is a chance to have a baby with your ex and continue to co-parent both your children, I think you should explore it for your children's sake, before bringing in another potential parent.
I am sorry for your loss, and I hope before anything you can take some time for yourself, I cannot imagine the emotional ordeal you are going through.
A friend of mine had a baby with a gay friend. It was very clear between them that he was just a sperm donor and not an active parent - although her DD knows who he is and calls him her 'Dad'. He and his partner visit once a year, and speak to her by Skype - but take no decision-making or caring role.
It has worked very well for them, the DD is nearly 3 now. My friend has a new partner now, who lives with them and for all practical purposes is her DD's dad, but is not called 'dad'.
My friend did a lot of thinking about it beforehand, and there was a lot of discussion. I advised her at the time to have a written contract with her friend, though I don't know if she did or not.
All sorts of things to discuss and all sorts of eventualities to consider (new partners, death of one or both parents, wills, disability/special needs, financial contributions, parental rights and responsibilities etc.
I also think you need to fully discuss what happened and what you're thinking with your ex. If you go ahead with this idea it could massively disrupt the relationship you have with him and therefore the one he has with his DC, so he also needs to be on board with the idea.
Yes, ex would struggle a bit. But less so than if I had a baby with a new partner. And my son thinks I'm going to marry ex or best mate interchangably and adores both of them. The 4 of us spend a lot of time together; the men get on well as they're not threatened by each other. Though I'm not daft: I know a baby would complicate the current happy arrangements.
I'm not sure it would be complicated at all. Two parents who do not live together but have shared custody is a situation which can of course be complex but here it is clear from the outset what the terms are and plus the OP is already used to managing that situation.
As far as I can see the only 'difference' is that of two friends raising a child, not two lovers.
I'm 35, by the way, so I do feel time is running out. A good friend who has been there for me throughout it all says it's my own version of a mid-life crisis...maybe.
It's all just made me re-evaluate my purpose in life. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true.
Go for it.
I have a baby with my friend, and we co-parent. Never in 10 years have we had an argument or problem with the situation, because it is entirely an amicable, agreeable scenario.
DS gets two parents who are friends and we can all hang out together whenever, and two step parents too. And all the cousins and grandparents that go along with that!
We both have new partners, I have a baby with mine and neither new partner was put off by the arrangement we have.
Don't let societal norms dictate the best thing for you and your child.
Juno, that's great to hear. What made you decide to do it? Does ds find it confusing or, like most kids, does he just see it as how things are?
My two youngest children are as a result of much the same situation (only i was not sleeping with an ex and my co parent is not gay)
It mostly works very well. There are some really useful websites with some very helpful information about the nitty gritty and working out understanding and any ground rules.
You may also want to look into what would happen if it all goes tits up.
Ime it's not much different to co parenting with an ex only you have none of the negatives that come with that such as the stuff that made you break up in the first place and more incentive to work together.
No, he doesn't find it confusing in the least. It's totally normal to him, and to be honest there are 4 or 5 children in his class whose parents aren't together, so it's not that unusual.
I do have a third option if it's just about having a baby: I have another (less close) gay friend who is desperate to have a child and asked me to consider it years ago. But he would be much less involved than best mate would be, largely because his partner isn't keen on kids. He would, in effect, be a sperm donor (though not through his personal choice). But I don't want to have a baby with someone just to have a baby. I'd like to have a baby with someone who I really care about and whose life is already intertwined with mine.
I can see that ex is the easiest option. But I don't think (for financial, age and health reasons) he'd be up for it. And now that best mate is in my head, he is my first choice.
Haven't talked to ex about the miscarriage as he'd be (rightly and understandably) angry that I kept the pregnancy from him for so long. He's wondered why I've been moody and distant, but een
a friend did this - father is actually quite involved now and it seems to be working out well some 5 years on - but she did not have another child who is disabled and had no other partner at all around
ultimately question for you - no need to rush though at 35 - but yes it can work well
Sorry. My aim has been to go back to normal and I spent so many weeks in total denial that it has become my default mode to be fake normal. I don't know what purpose it would serve him knowing now except to upset/ anger him.
I would ask him. The worse he dan say is no.
It sounds like your best friend is keen on having children and will be an active part in the child's life.
Iui is cheap to do at home the link above is only £14
I have asked and he is thinking about it. I think my timing could have been better though, because he knows I'm still messed up over the miscarriage and I don't want him to feel he has to say yes through emotional blackmail.
I don't think it's a terrible idea (though you should take some time to heal emotionally, and talk to your ex). But you need to make sure that GBF is really in for the messy bits of fatherhood for the long run - changing a toddler's vomity sheets at 3am, receiving a phonecall from primary school saying Come at once! when you're just setting off for a big meeting, dropping off to ballet practice at stupid o'clock on a Saturday, never going on holiday in June or September. Presumably if he's been your best mate for ten years then he has a more realistic idea of parenthood than many gay men, and at least he's unlikely to get his secretary pregnant and run off with her, but you want to minimise the risk of the nightmare scenario that when your child is five he'll decide that this isn't what he wanted at all, he's moving to Aberdeen and all further contact will be through the CSA.
I'd go for it op you only live once you would be bringing a child into the world loved by two parents it's a better start to life than many children have.
I'm sorry Op but you sound all over the place and are categorizing men you can have a baby with into 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. All this while at the same time not being able to tell your ex about your miscarriage. You were sleeping with ex, its perfectly possible that you could have found yourself pg so why yelling him seems to be such a big issue doesn't make sense to me.
I think you need to step back and look into counselling over your loss. Its a huge thing to go through with little support. If you seriously consider having a baby with gay best friend, you must lay all of your cards on the table with ex before anything happens. I doubt that he would be as blase about it as you seem to imply.
Wishing you lots of luck and healthy outcomes but please try and open up a lot more with those around you and communicate constantly until you find a solution x
Why on earth does she need to lay her cards on the table with her ex?
He's an ex they are not in a committed and trusting relationship they have been fuck buddies who also happen to be co parents, outside of the co parenting she owes him nothing.
I know I'm all over the place, which is why I can't make any definite decisions, but I don't see the core feeling of wanting another child going away.
The big deal in telling ex is that a) I didn't tell him I was pregnant (while I made my decision) and b) the length of the pregnancy would tell him that I'd made a decision behind his back without speaking to him or giving him any say. It WAS wrong of me. In my defence, I was very confused, but he wouldn't be very impressed by that and I don't blame him.
I do have to start being more honest wwith him about where our (non) relationship is(n't) going, but I don't see the purpose of telling him about the miscarriage.
Haha, x-posted but I sort of feel that.
Would it be possible to fudge the truth about the length of the pregnancy - so making it more as if you were just getting your head around it when you miscarried?
The reason I say about laying the cards on the table with ex is because of the close relationship they still have. Does op still want the same arrangements in terms of sex, joint holidays and companionship? Those may be changed with a baby by another man.
If ex wasn't so involved I'd say go for it, but Op, you've painted him as being much more than a co parent. I wonder how you'd feel if ex was having a baby with another woman.
Op i hope you don't think I'm coming across as mean in any way. I hope I'm being helpful in some way.
You're not being mean at all. I am very grateful for everyone's straight talking and words of advice - I wouldn't have posted in AIBU if I just wanted cheering on.
I think I would be gutted if ex had a baby with someone else, but mainly for my son, as it would take his dad's attention off him.
Yes, current arrangements would have to change, but that might be healthy for everyone. Not sure that current situation is, really.
A baby is not a solution to that though, I know! It just would be a helpful side-product.
I don't see anything wrong with it. I know people who have done it and it worked well for them
I have a friend who did this - her friend is not gay, but they are no more than very good friends. They have two children, they co-parent and are both single. It is working very well for them and for the children - it's stability of a different kind. They didn't take the decision lightly, neither should you, but if you both think it will work then I don't see anything against it.
I wish I knew someone in real life who'd done it! Everyone else seems to . I guess I'm used to being in an unconventional situation. Everyone thinks the situation with me and my ex is weird - which it is, to be fair, but until the sex re-appeared, I was quite smug about how maturely we were able to work together as firmly ex exes.
Does GBF not know anyone whose done it?
Does GBF not know anyone who's done it?
No. Some of our friends had discussed doing it but changed their minds.
I think you'd need to talk a lot: how would you divide childcare and finances, would you have compatible parenting methods, what happens if one of you dies/wins the lottery/meets someone else/gets offered your dream job at the other end of the country/etc. etc.
If, after consideration, you would make compatible co-parents then have at it
Sorry, just seen the idea about fibbing re: length of pregnancy. He'd know - because I'm a bad liar, and because he knows which time it would have realistically happened: the night we both messed up with contraception. He does know I took the morning after pill after that night. But I don't want to tell any more direct lies. Sick of being fake.
I have only read your OP so I do not know the ins and outs of this particular thread's bum but if you want a baby so badly, feel as if time is running out and do not care about people's opinions (trust me, there are some bigotted people out there and the fact that a kid has two loving and devoted parents is not enough for them, they'd rather focus on the fact that the dad comes over in a hot frenzy after catching an eyeful of 'Torso of the Week') and have a trusting, solid, stable and respectful friendship with this man then what is the harm in bringing it up to him and discovering his view on this situation. Life's too short to be old and grey and looking back and thinking, 'what if I...' This could just be the best thing you ever did! ♥
He is still thinking. I am thinking that I should back off while he does so, and not list all the pros and cons, and not try to influence him. I want him to make a decision for him, not to help me out. I really hope that he's not already decided no and is just putting off telling me because he knows I'm struggling at the moment. I also hope that I haven't changed our friendship by asking.
Everything bumpngrind said was spot on in my opinion.
It's a big decision OP - IMO it is a good sign that he is taking a lot of time thinking about it, because the worst thing would be someone who rushed into an ill-considered yes.
One thing to think about is you and your friend's opinions on parenting styles, and your methods of conflict resolution. Often friendships don't really require much in the way of resolving conflict - you do the things you like/agree on together and do the other things separately. No discussion required. Parenting, obviously, is different. Your friend may want a much more involved role than your ex has with your other DC, and may have very different opinions. You'd need to talk about how you'd resolve differences, and what things really really matter to each of you that you couldn't compromise on.
Views on education, discipline, routines or lack of, bedtimes, TV-watching, toys, etc. You will each have all sorts of views on parenting that just seem 'normal' to you, but may not to each other.
What happens if one of you gets a job offer a long way away or a new partner who gets a job offer a long way away?
What happens if the child becomes ill or disabled - who takes the long-term time off?
I think it can work, but a lot of discussion required.
I don't think you should do anything at the moment. While time is not stretching endlessly into the future for you at 35, your fertility is not about to end tomorrow either, so you can afford to take a bit of time and make the right decision here.
If your gay best friend wants to be a father, I think he'd make an ideal choice and it could work out well for all concerned.
The problem as I see it is your X, your DS's father. There are clearly unresolved issues in your relationship with him that desperately need dealing with one way or another before you throw another child into this mix.
Miscarriages can affect people in different ways. Once you are sure you have dealt with yours as well as you ever can do, I'd focus all your thoughts on your X. What are your feelings towards him? Why did you sleep with him? Why did you choose to do that knowing that it might pose a risk to your DS's relationship with him? You will need to be searingly honest with yourself to get to the bottom of all that, and then choose a plan of action that allows you to have a relationship with him.
IMO only once that is in place can you then think about how another child with a different father would impact on that relationship and whether you want that father to be your gay best friend.
I can't say what's right for you but a good gay friend of mine had a baby with his best friend and they made it work. The set up was a bit different to yours and they lived together (along with his male partner) and made a very good job of it all.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, I guess it's about making sure that everybody involved is comfortable and clear on the boundaries, which means lots of talking.
I don't see why you couldn't make it work though.
I know two people who did what you're thinking of OP and it worked out really well for them. I would think a huge amount of discussion is required beforehand though, on logistics (what if your gay mate gets an unrefusable job offer abroad or something?), parenting styles (ie will you both agree fundamentally on how to parent?), things like views on religion (or not) and education, holidays, how the child's time is divided, finance etc.
Also, you have to work out where your ex would be in this picture. He'd really have to be told. Is there a compelling reason why you'd approach your gay mate rather than your ex?
If meeting someone new and having a child that way is not the most pressing concern for you, I think you're right to consider going it alone no matter how you do that. For example, I was always very clear in my head that having children was more important to me than having a lifelong partner, so if I hadn't met DH, I would have done it alone or even with someone as a coparent. Other people place more emphasis on meeting someone first. I think that's something very personal to each individual and only you can decide what's more important to you.
More or less x post hopskip, I didn't see your post first!
If you do go down this route, I really think you should think of having a professionally drawn up agreement/contract.
A friend of mine had a baby with a gay friend. It all worked beautifully for a few years. Then gay friend's relationship broke down and the friendship (between my friend and her gay friend) broke down. My friend is now worried that about her gay friend trying to fight for custody at some point.
Great minds..., hellothere
Thank you, everyone. Lots to think about.
Yes, I would need to resolve things with ex. I think the sex is just because we've always been more compatible there than in any other way, but I do love him in the sense that he is my son's father. I think he has maybe more feelings for me but, ultimately, we're not compatible long-term.
So having a baby with him would confuse things further, I feel. And I would genuinely like my best mate to be the father of my next child - not just because he's there, but because he'd be amazing.
Re: parenting views, best mate and I share similar views on most things. He's been around since my son was tiny and so he has seen how I've done things and would, I guess, have said if he disagreed with anything I've done - we're quite open about opinions. I guess it would be different if it was his own child though. We have had rows in the past, usually when we've taken our friendship for granted, but we've always resolved things as our friendship is very important to us. He has got me through some very tough times.
Thank you all again for the advice. Whatever best mate says, I know I really need to sort myself out before making any big decisions about anything. I really need to be able to be back in work properly without crying over pathetic stuff before I even think of making any life-changing decisions!
Sorry to hear about your miscarriage.
Does your ex partner get on with your best friend? How would ex partner feel about you having another man's baby (would it impact on your son when both were around?). If all those things are OK, it sounds like a great idea!
assuming you've sorted out the practicalities
Go for it ! It's no different to the huge swathes of people that have kids together who aren't in a relationship or split up. Expect here won't be any emotional baggage between you two, bonus! I think it's a great idea and more people should consider this.
I'd go for it. A wanted baby, two caring parents, a big brother? There are worse things in the world by a looooong way.
If your best friend really wants children and you are will to go 50/50 go for it.
Speaking as a first time mum in my late 30's I feel if you and your friend can offer a child stability and love then why not?
Parenting models are now pretty diverse and I wouldn't necessarily say the traditional family is 'better' or more stable.
If you explore the impact a second child would have on DC1 and on your friendship then I think you have a set of possibilities. I support and can see why you would rather have a known father than a donor - both have their benefits and disadvantages but a good friend who wants to become a parent too is very valuable and he will no doubt be enriched by the experience of having a child.
Went to the GP today as I'm really not coping as well as I'd like to be. Have been given a prescription for a week's sleeping tablets to see if sleep helps. But I can't see my feelings on having another baby changing, even with clearer perspective. I think best mate has decided no but is scared to tell me in case it tips me over the edge. No further forward with anything, really
OP have you thought about getting some counselling? You've got a lot going on emotionally at the moment, it might be good to talk it through with someone neutral.
Go for it. He probably won't get another chance, you really want one, and you both get on really well.
The rest is details
Counselling was suggested, but someone I know works at the place that they use, so am nervous. Also not sure how I'd fit it in. Work is hard enough and I'm behind enough as it is.
Trying a sleeping tablet tonight to see if I can have a weekend without crying, having had some sleep!
Didn't finish my answer about counselling: I have a bit of a thing about hating sharing private thoughts with someone who is paid to listen but doesn't actually care. But I think talking could be good, because my friends who know are clearly starting to get bored of me being so up-and-down all the time, and I think they wish I'd stop talking about it and move on. Bloody hell, even I wish that.
I'd feel it would be too complicated with 2 kids with different dads - where one is around most of the time and perhaps also the other? Just in terms of arrangements and practicalities. I'd probably get a sperm donor instead But yes, take some time to think, and see how you feel in summer or something. 35 isn't that old!
I feel old, and very tired. I was young and (fairly) energetic with my son! Yes, the 2 dads thing would be complicated, but they get on well enough and they'd be no competition to each other. Plus, very aware that my son will be an adult in the blink of an eye and probably won't be at home for more than 5 years, so the time when ex will be around a lot will dwindle. Not that my son won't still need me and need my ex - he will - but the current arrangement won't exist soon.
I have friends who had a baby together without ever being a couple and it works very well for them, so undoubtedly it is possible.
This comment of yours worries me a bit though:
"but I have got so used to living life around work and my son that I feel I have forgotten to think about what I want."
Won't adding another child into the equation just create something else for life to revolve around, thus continuing the cycle of not being able to think about what you want?
If you are absolutely sure that another child is where you want to go, then I would say go ahead. But having had DC3 only five years after DC2, I have to say that going right back to square one and starting again was a big deal, and that was a much shorter gap. Also you already have a disabled son and you state that it is only recently that you feel that he may manage to lead an independent life, so must be aware that there is the possibility that another child might be with you for the rest of your life.
If you've considered all that, and it's still what you want, then I wish you all the best.
I feel that another child is what I want. I do think the massive age gap would be 'interesting'...I think I have forgotten lots of what it was like!
But I am also aware that my head is not in its usual state at the moment.
My boss and some friends at work think I need some time off. I am getting so little sleep and am emotionally up and down. Boss has managed to arrange some counselling, starting next week, as GP recommendation would have been months of waiting. I was against it but figure I have nothing to lose. I want some normality back.
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