Desperate for a child, but unable to conceive, a couple have taken an unusual step to have a baby.
Paul and Elisabeth Bennett from Trundle in NSW are advertising for a female companion to move into their home.
Then either by artificial insemination or a “more physical connection” they hope to conceive a baby and become one big family.
“We talked about surrogacy using someone else’s eggs,” Paul, 52, explained. “But we both agreed it didn’t seem right to take a child away from the woman who helped create it. So we came up with the idea of finding a woman who wishes to have children but doesn’t want to do it alone. She could live with us and we could all raise the baby together.”
The couple met 28 years ago because Elisabeth is Paul’s best friend’s sister.
“I knew she was The One as soon as I laid eyes on her,” Paul told that’s life! “The problem was at nine years older, she was married with five children! I had to accept she was taken and I carried on with my own life.”
When Elisabeth’s marriage broke down, Paul took his chance, confessing how he felt.
“I told her that every time I saw her I smiled and that I had always loved her, but Elisabeth said she needed to focus on raising her children and I understood. Knowing she was the person I was meant to share the rest of my life with, I waited though.”
Fifteen years on, when Elisabeth’s children had all moved out, they finally got together.
“Everything was perfect,” Paul said. “We got married and I brought up having children. By then I was 39 and Elisabeth was 47, so we knew we couldn’t waste any time.”
Sadly, tests showed Elisabeth’s eggs were no longer viable, but they ruled out using someone else’s.
"Deciding that fostering a child might be best, we joined a community foster club to learn more about how the system works, but it didn't feel right. I really would like to have a biological child."
It was then the couple came up with their unconventional plan.
Living on acreage, they are willing to build a private dwelling if their companion wants privacy. However, with plenty of space inside, she is welcome to share the house.
So the couple posted an advert in their local paper.
‘Are you a single female? Looking to relocate. Yearning to have children, wanting security? Then I want to hear from you,’ Paul wrote.
So far, they have received no replies.
“We understand it’s a little different, but we’re sure there’s a woman out there,” Paul said. “Whether it be artificial insemination or a more physical connection, both Elisabeth and I are open to discussing what our new female companion wants. The main thing is the three of us would raise the child together, as a family unit. Elisabeth and I discuss everything and we would love for this woman to be involved in all our family decisions. We just want her to be comfortable.
“We would love to welcome someone into our family to share the love we have to give.”
Elisabeth, 61, said: “Paul is the one for me and we’re so happy together. I have had my chance to have children and I want him to have his. It would be amazing if we could find someone’s who’s willing to share their life with us.”
If you would like to get in touch with the couple, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full story, read that's life! on sale now!
This story originally appeared in that's life! Issue 10, 8 March 2018.