Two gay policemen have had a baby after one of their sister’s agreed to act as a surrogate. Lorna Bradley, 31, agreed to have a baby for her brother Steven Ponder, 28, and his partner Ivan Sigston, 48. They are believed to be Britain’s first gay couple to father a baby.
Sigston, a former soldier who is now a police constable, provided the sperm after Bradley offered to carry his child. Both he and Ponder, a special constable, were present for the birth at Bradley’s home in West Sussex, last month. The boy has been called William Campbell Ponder-Sigston but the two men will now have to officially adopt him before they are officially his parents.
Sigston wrote on Facebook last Monday: ‘I am one happy Daddy – life is good, life is just where I want it.’ Earlier in July, he thanked his sister publicly for being a surrogate. ‘Still really can’t believe how one amazing gesture can change the whole course of your life. Thank you sooooo much – you know who you are!!!!,’ he said.
Surrogacy UK says a standard arrangement would see a couple apply for a parental order within six months of the child’s birth. Same-sex couples cannot apply for a parental order and have to go through the adoption process instead. Bradley’s name is the only one on the birth certificate at the moment, according to the Sun, meaning she is currently William’s legal guardian.
Sigston and Ponder live together in Southampton, Hampshire, where Sigston is a dog handler for Hamsphire Police. He was given paternity leave after William’s birth earlier this month, which came five days after Bradley’s due date.
“They are over the moon, and they cannot thank Lorna enough for what she has done. They have decorated a room at their home in blue as a nursery and take William out with the dogs daily,” said a friend of the pair. “I am sure many people will not approve but this was an arrangement between three consenting adults – and William will be brought up with much love.”
Bradley was not paid to be a surrogate and just did it out of ‘sisterly love’, the friend added. Her husband Darren had given the move his blessing. Speaking at her terraced home in Worthing, Bradley declined to go into detail about the circumstances surrounding the birth. “We are just thinking about what we are going to do at the moment,” Bradley said. “We knew there was a chance that it was going to get out but we would rather have some time to think about commenting. There is a lot of us involved in it so we have all got to discuss it.”
Sigston won a Royal Humane Society Award in 2002 after saving the life of a man who was stabbed. He had previously served with the Royal Tank Regiment, including a tour in Northern Ireland, before quitting in 1996.
Hampshire Police declined to comment this morning.
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