My colleague Liza Gatrell and I got up early on a Saturday morning and were on the London train by 7:30am to make our way to the yearly Alternative Parenting show in Convent Garden on 20th September.
The show holds a number of seminars throughout the day focusing on different issues and topics. It kicked off with a question panel whereby attendees could ask frank and open questions to the panellists including Charlie Condou (who plays Marcus in Coronation Street) and Sophie Ward, as well as her son, and an adoption specialist. Charlie explained how he had a female friend who used to joke with him that she would like to have children with him if she hadn’t had her own by the time she had reached the age of 40. Charlie was in a long standing relationship with his male partner but he agreed to have 2 children with his friend and now all 3 of them co-parent together sharing the children’s time, and spending holidays and special occasions together. A true success story, but probably on the basis that they discussed their intentions and how they wanted to bring up their children at length in advance.
There were then stall holders from fertility clinics in the UK and abroad, adoption agencies, lawyers, and surrogacy information stands for couples and individuals to gather information and ask questions. It was busy all day and a really successful event.
Clearly information is key when embarking on starting your own ‘alternative’ family so make sure you speak to several organisations and agencies before embarking on your journey to ensure that you have considered your rights and responsibilities and best interests of yourself and your child.