Will and Neil Harman are a bi-national gay dad couple living in Fife, Scotland. They have a 2-year old son through surrogacy and although they are most certainly not the "norm" in their town, they've never been made to feel different. If anything, they've been made to feel even a little bit special because of their unique family. Here's how they came became to be dads.
Will, who is originally from Maine in the United States, moved to London, UK, in 2006 to study. Over 12 years later, he's still across the pond, but now he lives in Scotland with his husband, Neil, and their son Hugo. Will and Neil met in a bar during Gay Pride in Manchester in 2008. They hit it off immediately, and on July 27, 2013, the two were married. Will is the International Recruitment Manager for University of Dundee and Neil is a self-employed change consultant.
Will and Neil at the Signet Library in Edinburgh on their wedding day 27th July 2013
The two always wanted a child and they wanted to be biologically related. But going the surrogacy route in the UK proved difficult for the husbands. They initially began their journey in the UK but due to the strict laws in the UK on paying a surrogate, their option was to join a charity to meet altruistic surrogates, but it didn't work out for Will and Neil. With Will's sister agreeing to be their egg donor, the couple decided to do surrogacy in the US.
The decision to do surrogacy in the states was not made lightly. Will and Neil researched the UK and US options extensively. To go state side meant a much larger budget was required, one that was not an easy feat for the dads-to-be. Their first attempt at IVF failed and the dads began to doubt the process. But after the initial failure, their surrogate got pregnant upon the second attempt; the dads-to-be were delighted! Hugo was born in 2016.
The day Hugo Grosvenor Harman was born in Portland Maine USA, 29th January 2016
Life as dads hasn't slowed Neil and Will down too much. They were a sociable couple before, and they still are, but now they tend to roll three deep. "We travel together, we go out regularly with and without Hugo; we find a great balance in our lives," said Neil. Their UK family also plays a large supportive role in their lives.
Like most parents, Will and Neil have learned to the importance of patience, and counting to 10 slowly. "Even when you've had a particularly bad day," said Will, "the next day the sun comes up and you will fell ready to try again."
In terms of future plans, Will and Neil are hoping to travel as much as possible before Hugo is of school age, making the most of the hop over to Europe and beyond. They're currently in search of their forever home, and they dream of one day being their own bosses. The dads enjoy making plans and thinking of their future dreams, especially as their most important one has been realized: being "Daddy" to their son, Hugo.
Will, Seven, Neil, Hugo at their house in October 2016