A COUPLE’S dream of having a baby has come true thanks to the Leigh mum who carried their bundle of joy for them.

Donna Boardman, Leigh’s only known surrogate mum, gave birth to a boy after volunteering to carry a child for a gay couple she had only met months before – despite facing a backlash from friends.

“We have had some negative reactions from friends,” she said.

“We’ve lost some friends but gained some new ones. People have told me they don’t understand how I could give away my baby but what they don’t understand was that it was never mine.”

Donna, along with husband Paul, endured blood tests, psychological assessments and IVF before Donna fell pregnant using sperm from one of the dads and a donor egg.

“I wanted to be pregnant but I didn’t want any more children – the ones I have are enough of a handful,” said the 35-year-old.

“We started looking into it and signed up with an agency in London.

“We were matched with a couple almost straightaway but the first round of IVF didn’t take and the second ended in a miscarriage.”

Donna was then matched with a same sex couple and on February 17 James was born six weeks early by caesarean section, weighing 3lb 8oz at Wigan Infirmary.

“I would recommend it but then it isn’t for everyone. For me, we both got what we wanted from it – I wanted to be pregnant and they wanted a baby,” said Donna.

“I didn’t think it would be so traumatic but then it was an amazing experience. It was worth it for the look on their faces when they met baby James.

“I was upset afterwards. My body was expecting me to have a baby but I didn’t – but that only lasted about 24 hours and then I was fine.

Donna, a housewife, says she would not have been able to do it without Paul or the support of her three children, 15-year-old Joshua, Christopher, aged 13 who both attend Lowton High School and 11-year-old Leigh CE Junior School pupil Natasha.

Paul said: “It involved a lot more than we expected it to, I took time off work, sometimes unpaid, to go to London or for appointments, but I am very proud of Donna.

“The guys were great, in fact when James was born they came rushing to Donna to make sure she was okay before they went to see him.”

Donna and Paul, who did not benefit financially from the surrogacy, receive regular updates and pictures from the couple.