In a case that has divided opinion across Britain and led to questions about the robustness of fertility laws, meet 27-year-old Kyle and his 46 year old mother Anne-Marie, who not only is his son, Miles’s grandmother, but also the woman who gave birth to him.
On face value, it’s a story to make anyone recoil. Anne-Marie simply carried the child. Using a donor egg fertilised by Kyle’s sperm, she became the first woman in the UK to be a surrogate for her own son.
The arrangement, according to DailyMail, emerged only last week when a High Court judge ruled that Kyle could now adopt Miles. Although Kyle was classed as both the baby’s father and brother when he was born, that is no longer the case. Today he is simply the baby’s father.
‘I’ve never thought of him as my brother. None of us have. But when he was born, legally he was my brother. Just as legally, he was my mother’s son. That’s no longer the case. My mum and dad’s names are no longer on the birth certificate. I am the only name on the birth certificate, meaning that I am now his legal father as well as his biological father.’
The mother is listed as unknown.
The whole scenario may make many people uncomfortable. Indeed, critics have called it ‘dubious’ and questioned the ethics and morality of the situation. The family no longer speaks to one friend who was against the idea.
‘I know that some people won’t understand it and are against what we’ve done but as far as I see, as long as someone can provide for a child then they have every right to a child,’ says Kyle.
‘Apart from that one friend — whom I no longer speak to — everyone else has been really supportive. No one has the right to deny someone that opportunity. We are supposed to live in a world with equal opportunities, but single people are discriminated against. The law says that having a child is too much of an undertaking for a single person to take on. But I’ve proved that wrong.
I don’t care what people think — they can keep their opinions. He is cared for. He is loved. I paid for it all myself with a little help from my parents at the end, and that’s all that matters.’
His mum agrees wholeheartedly. Despite the controversy, Anne-Marie couldn’t be more delighted.
‘Why should my son be denied the chance to be a father if he can provide a loving home?’ she asks.
Kyle, who came out as gay to his parents when he was 19, says he always wanted children. His decision to undertake this unconventional route at such a relatively young age was, he says, based on ensuring his child would enjoy a close relationship with its grandparents.
He started investigating the possibility of having a child when he was 24. Turned down by several surrogacy clinics on the grounds that he was single, he also looked into adoption but rejected it after deciding that he wanted his own biological offspring.
‘Adoption is an amazing thing to do but why should I ‘settle’ for adoption when I could have my own child,’ he says. ‘I wanted a child that was part of ‘me’ and besides, anyone else can have their own child so why not me? I think everyone has a right to a child. If you can afford a child and bring it up in a loving home then why not?’
Anne-Marie and Kyle admit that their family is ‘closer than most’. She says the idea of her becoming her son’s surrogate was first planted during a doctor’s appointment she went with her son.
. ‘The doctor, Mr Shaker, told us that he’d done this for a couple of families where the mother had had a baby for her own daughter,’ says Anne-Marie. ‘Although he’d never done it for a single person he said he preferred surrogacy arrangements where the surrogate was related to the parents because there was less chance of something going wrong at the adoption stage.
When he said that, I got the strongest feeling he was looking at me as if to say: ‘You could do it.’
‘I’d already asked another female relative who had had children and who had said yes.
‘But when she was checked out by her GP, it turned out she had gynaecological problems and he advised her not to go through with another pregnancy. I thought that was that.’
Once the decision had been made, Kyle had to tell the clinic what he was looking for from an egg donor.
‘You can choose everything from skin tone to IQ levels to whether they’re fat or thin, but I didn’t want to be that specific because it felt too much like I was choosing a designer child,’ he says. ‘I just said I wanted someone with brown hair and green eyes like me so the child would resemble me.’
The cost of the procedure — around £14,000 — was made up entirely through savings, with a little help from Anne-Marie and Alan.
Mother and son attended the implantation appointment and Kyle watched on screen as the one healthy embryo was implanted.
‘I’m not usually an emotional person but I cried all the way through this,’ he admits. ‘I thought because of Mum’s age it wasn’t going to work and I was gutted.’
Anne-Marie thought otherwise.
‘The implantation wasn’t painful and I was pretty sure I was pregnant straight away,’ she says. ‘I sat in the back seat of the car on the way home with my legs up just to make sure. When I began to get cramps that night in bed, which I took to be implantation cramps — and a good sign — I just knew it had worked.
I found it easy to detach myself, I really did. I really felt like it was babysitting. I kept thinking: ‘This is not my baby but it is my grandchild, so I have to take extra special care.’
However, the first stages of the pregnancy did not go smoothly when Anne-Marie suffered two major bleeds at weeks six and seven. Fearing negative reactions, the family kept the pregnancy under wraps.
The birth, an elective C-section on the NHS, took place last July, with Kyle right by his mother’s side in the operating theatre. As little Miles was born, he was passed straight to his father.
‘He came out quickly. I got a good view of him but all Mum could see was his bottom,’ says Kyle. ‘I cut the cord and they handed me to him and I put him straight on my chest for skin-to-skin contact. It’s a moment I find really hard to describe, but I was so relieved. He cried and I cried.”
Anne-Marie is adamant there was no motherly yearning to hold her newborn. ‘It was lovely to see him being passed over to Kyle and I was very relieved,’ she says.
When it came to signing the birth certificate, Anne-Marie was reluctant. ‘It didn’t feel right,’ she says.
‘Miles isn’t my baby but by law we had to sign it and Kyle was worried we’d get into trouble if we didn’t.’
Today, Miles lives in his father’s tidy two-bedroom flat. Kyle believes Miles will be an only child.
‘I’d have liked more children, but I don’t want to push my luck and I’m not greedy,’ he says.
A lot of people think he is disadvantaged because he has only one parent. And, although I grew up with siblings, I don’t think he’ll miss having brothers or sisters. We’re always having playdates with friends.’
As for his biological mother, legally Miles will be able to discover who she is when he turns 18.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail Uk