Tom Daley has spoken movingly about fatherhood, surrogates, and the difficulties same sex couples face when it comes to starting a family of their own.
The 27-year-old Olympic diver has been married to 47-year-old Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black since 2017 and together they welcomed a son named Robert in June 2018.
Speaking to Giovanna Fletcher on her Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast, he said he always knew he wanted to be a parent and when he realised he was gay he knew it wouldn't be an easy road.
Daley explained: "Once I started to realise that I was gay, it was like, how am I going to have children in the future? What does this look like for me? What are the options?
“And having to figure out exactly how that was going to work, looking down the routes of adoption, surrogacy and all of those different things.”
He continued: “It is a lot more complicated for same sex parents to have children and you have to really think about it and like really, really want to have kids in order to be able to make it work and it’s extremely complex for same sex couples in a number of different ways."
The diver told Fletcher that his own loving relationship with his parents, and very happy childhood, meant he always knew he wanted children.
Watch now: Tom Daley feels extra pressure as a gay dad
Losing his own father, Robert, who passed away in 2011 aged 40, cemented his desire to become a father himself.
“For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a parent," he said:
"I think because of the relationship with my mum and dad, we were so close and then, when I lost my dad, it was like, I want to be everything that he was to me to someone else because every child deserves to have what I had with my dad because it was such a special relationship, we were so close.”
And he has also explained that husband Dustin’s own personal losses – his brother died of cancer in 2012 – also left them wanting to have a child.
The couple were drawn to surrogacy in a bid to pass on the personalities of the people they had lost to a new generation.
Daley explained: "Lance and I had lost so many people in our families and there was something about surrogacy that we were drawn to that just meant that we could pass on the people that we’d lost, their genes and their thoughts, their feelings, their personalities and being able to bring someone into the world, that felt so extremely special.”
The couple explored the option of surrogacy both in the UK and the US, but opted for the US as there is more legal protection there for both surrogates and parents.
He also revealed that their son — who they named after Daley's dad and affectionately call Robbie — is due to start school in September.
And they have maintained a really good relationship with his surrogate, who wants to remain anonymous.
"Surrogates are guardian angels, they are so incredible," Daley said.
"There are no words to explain as to how grateful you can be to someone and they are so incredibly special. Our surrogate is so special we speak to her all the time, on Facetime with Robbie and we explain to Robbie that she is his tummy buddy and that is how he came into the world."