Mary Portas’s brother donated sperm for Mary and wife Melanie to have baby

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Queen of the High Street Mary Portas has revealed that her brother donated sperm to enable her to start a family with wife Melanie Rickey.

Portas, whose memoir Shop Girl is being serialised in The Times told the newspaper that wife Ms Rickey and herself both wanted a genetic link to their child. The pair are one of a growing number of same-sex couples who have chosen to have children with the assistance of their brothers or sisters.

In her memoir, Portas explains that she felt that Ms Rickey, being younger, should be the birth mother and they would ask the brother of Portas, Lawrence Newton if he would donate sperm. Ms Rickey said “Bring it on”, while Portas’ brother said “I’d be honoured”.

“Lawrence was the first one there [with us] and he picked him up and it was just very emotional,” she told The Times. “I said to him ‘Thank you’, and he said ‘It’s my pleasure’, and we just held each other. And now, when I look at Horatio, he is a complete mix of [Ms Rickey] and me.”

Portas said that son Horatio calls her “Mama”, while Ms Rickey is “Mummy”. Mr Newton, who is currently living with the family is called “Daddy” by their son.

“Of course, now I know that it could only ever have been Lawrence who was Horatio’s father,” she said.

Portas has two children with her ex-husband Graham. Portas and Ms Rickey entered into a civil partnership in 2010 and were among the first couples to convert their civil partnership to a marriage last December.

Portas is a successful retailer and broadcaster, she was was appointed the government’s High Street Tsar by David Cameron in 2011.