‘We could pass on the people that we’d lost’: Tom Daley, 27, reveals he and husband Dustin Lance Black, 47, chose surrogacy to have their son Robbie so they could continue their lineage
Tom Daley has revealed he and Dustin Lance Black were drawn to surrogacy when they decided to have a child as they wanted to continue their family lineage.
The Olympic diver, 27, who welcomed his son Robbie with his husband, 47, three years ago, said they decided to have a child through surrogacy so they could pass on their genes.
Tom, whose father Rob Daley died in 2011 at the age of 40, explained he and Lance had both lost many beloved family members and wanted to pass on ‘the people we’d lost’ to their offspring.
Family: Tom Daley has revealed he and Dustin Lance Black were drawn to surrogacy when they decided to have a child as they wanted to continue their family lineage
Speaking to Giovanna Fletcher on her Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast, Tom said: ‘Lance and I […] had lost so many people in our families and there was something about surrogacy that we were drawn to that just meant that we could pass on the people that we’d lost, their genes and their thoughts, their feelings, their personalities and being able to bring someone into the world, that felt so extremely special.’
Tom has previously explained they both provided sperm to fertilise their surrogate’s eggs, but do not wish to know who the biological father is.
On the podcast, Tom opened up about the complications around having children as same sex parents as he revealed his worries that came when he first realised that he was gay.
He said: ‘Once I started to realise that I was gay, it was like, how am I going to have children in the future? What does this look like for me? What are the options?
Parents: The Olympic diver, 27, who welcomed his son Robbie with his husband, 47, three years ago, said they decided to have a child through surrogacy so they could pass on their genes
‘Having to figure out exactly how that was going to work, looking down the routes of adoption, surrogacy and all of those different things.’
He added: ‘It is a lot more complicated for same sex parents to have children and you have to really think about it and like really, really want to have kids in order to be able to make it work and it’s extremely complex for same sex couples in a number of different ways.’
But the TV personality admitted he has always wanted to be a father, saying he wanted to have as close a relationship with his child as he had with his own father Robert.
He said: ‘For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a parent. […] I think because of the relationship with my mum and dad, we were so close.
Loss: Tom, whose father Rob Daley died in 2011 at the age of 40, explained he and Lance had both lost many family members and wanted to pass on ‘the people we’d lost’ to their offspring
‘Then, when I lost my dad, it was like, I want to be everything that he was to me to someone else because every child deserves to have what I had with my dad because it was such a special relationship, we were so close.’
Tom and American screenwriter Lance, who tied the knot in 2016, welcomed their son Robert Ray, now three, in 2018 via surrogacy and decided to go through the process in the US.
Tom explained how in the UK both surrogates and parents are not afforded the same legal rights.
Family: Tom and American screenwriter Lance welcomed their son Robert Ray, now three, in 2018 via surrogacy and decided to go through the process in the US
He added: ‘We looked into it in the UK and in the US. In the UK it’s a lot more complicated because surrogates aren’t as well protected legally, intended parents aren’t protected legally, it’s just not safe, there’s a lot of hurdles to have to jump over.
‘In the US, everything is regulated in a way that keeps everyone safe and in the US the surrogacy process is a lot more streamlined.’
Speaking about parenthood, Tom confessed he feels there is ‘extra pressure’ on same sex couples to be ‘good parents’ and revealed he sometimes feels judged when out in public.
Tom explained: ‘Being same sex dads, I felt a lot of extra pressure to be good parents and to be doing the right thing.’
Challenges: Tom explained how in the UK both surrogates and parents are not afforded the same legal rights
He continued: ‘You do always feel a bit judged when you’re out in public because you want to be showing that you’re doing the best you possibly can, and I think it can be weird sometimes for people to see two dads and a baby.
‘We always felt like we had to be the best parents that we could ever be and do all of the right things, we were desperate to be parents just like everybody else.
‘It was that constant feeling of having to prove ourselves above and beyond.’
The couple chose to raise Robbie in London after the couple made the ‘difficult’ decision to choose to live in the UK despite negative reaction to their surrogacy.
Of their gratitude towards their surrogate, he added: ‘There are no words to describe how grateful you can be to someone our surrogate is so special, we speak to her all the time on Facetime with Robby.’
Speaking to BBC Radio at the time of their son’s birth, Tom said: ‘In the US, where we’ve been working with our surrogate, the reception was incredibly warm, with almost no exception.’
But, he added, that in the UK ‘we heard things that weren’t so friendly. Maybe because there are misconceptions about surrogacy here’.
Tom and filmmaker Lance, who started dating nine years ago, married at Bovey Castle in Devon in May 2016.
Thankful: Of their gratitude towards their surrogate he added: ‘There are no words to describe how grateful you can be to someone our surrogate is so special’
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