To Anderson Cooper: A Son Deserves His Mother
Isn’t it an amazing feeling to be a father? To know that the precious little baby that you hold in your arms is, in a real sense, your own flesh and blood? That in a unique way, he carries part of you in his very life and soul? Yet when I saw the announcement of his birth, I felt sadness more than happiness. Sadness for him and for you.
Obviously, you don’t know me from Adam. But you’re a public figure, you made a public announcement, and I’m confident, as a lesser-known public figure, that I speak for many others as well.
A Boy Deserves His Mother
Anderson, a boy deserves his mother, yet if I understand your plan correctly, your son will not be raised together by her and by you. That’s what saddens me the most.
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I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son’s middle name is Morgan. It’s a family name on my mom’s side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.
Can you imagine what your life would look like today without the influence of your mother? Can you imagine Anderson Cooper without Gloria Vanderbilt? (Or, can you imagine only knowing her as the other half of a biological equation?) Who would you be without your mom?
Think back to all the memories the two of you share, especially since you lost your dad at the age of 10. Think back to the impact your mother had on who you are as a person. Think back to the tender moments that only a mother and child can experience.
And then ask yourself this question: Is it right that Wyatt will never have the special relationship with his mother that you had with yours? Is it fair to deprive him, by your own choice, of having the benefit of a mom and a dad?
The World’s Best Dad Is Not a Mom
To be clear, I don’t believe that you simply chose to be gay one day. I don’t believe that any more than I “chose” to be straight.
And I don’t mean that you won’t try to be an amazing dad. And a devoted dad. And a caring dad.
But the world’s best dad is not a mom (just as the world’s best mom is not a dad). Yet you have made a decision to bring Wyatt Morgan Cooper into the world without a mother, even though he has a mother.
That’s because biology is very stubborn, and the way God created us, every human being has a mother and a father and is meant to be nurtured by both.
Two men, no matter how much they love each other, cannot produce a child. It’s the same with two women.
But this is not simply a matter of biology. It’s a matter of complementarity. The mother and the father each bring something unique and special, more unique than the difference between two dads or two moms. That’s because male plus male or female plus female can never equal male plus female.
Wyatt Will Be Separated From His Mother By Your Choice
Who would you be today if your dad had been gay and made a decision to bring you into the world to be raised by him and a male partner. Gloria Vanderbilt might have been your biological mother, but she would never have mothered you.
Or who would you be if you had a nanny instead of a mother, again, by the choice of your father? And would you feel that your father did what was best for you by bringing you into the world to be deprived of your mother?
That’s the difference between your situation and that of a woman whose husband abandons the family. She is now a single mom and her kids are deprived of their dad, but not by her choice.
In your case, Wyatt will be separated from birth from his mother by choice, and not his own. Or will Wyatt simply be told one day, “That’s your mother,” leaving him to figure out what it all means?
What is Best for Wyatt Morgan Cooper?
It was very touching to hear of the time you spent with your mother after she was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer at the age of 95. You said, “She lived nine more days. … Being able to spend those nine days and nights with her was a great, great blessing. They were the most extraordinary days of my life and I’m very grateful.”
Anderson, if those 9 days were so precious to you, the culmination of your lifelong relationship with your mother, shouldn’t Wyatt have the opportunity to have his mother as well?
In many ways, you are private person, and I’m not trying to intrude in your life. And you may simply write me off as a hateful gay basher.
But it is love that compels me to write. What is best for Wyatt Morgan Cooper?
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is When the World Stops: Words of Faith, Hope, and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.