Growing up as a gay child, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper thought he would never be able to have his own children

Anderson Cooper became a father when he was close to 60 and had already broken up with his long-term boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani. However, the two exes got back together, just not in a romantic way.

Anderson Cooper and Benjamin Maisani were so private about their relationship that it took years before it was revealed that they were dating. The pair started seeing each other in 2009.

In March 2018, Daily Mail announced that the couple was living together at Anderson’s firehouse home. The Manhattan, Greenwich Village home he bought for $4 million was later renovated.

Anderson Cooper on an episode of "Watch What Happens Live" on November 30, 2016. | Source: Getty Images

Anderson and Benjamin only came out about their relationship in May 2015. At the time, the CNN news anchor shared an Instagram image of him and Benjamin and wrote:

“I guess when you’re with someone a long time, you start to pose alike.”

After that, Anderson started opening up more about his relationship. So much so that in August 2016, he and his boyfriend appeared together for an issue of Architectural Digest.

At the time, the couple was showing off the remote home they co-owned in a section of Brazil. In 2014, Benjamin spoke to French Morning about all the attention his relationship with Anderson was getting.

He also addressed why they’d spent so much time trying to keep it private. The businessman said he understood why people were so interested in their relationship but didn’t feel the same.

Benjamin explained that he hadn’t thought about or wanted to be a celebrity like most people. He shared that he knew from the beginning that exposing the relationship was risking the attention on it getting out of hand.

Anderson Cooper and Benjamin Maisani at the Windward School Benefit on March 10, 2018, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

In March 2018, after a decade of dating, Anderson’s spokesperson confirmed that the journalist and Benjamin had separated. According to reports, the CNN anchor explained the split by saying:

“Benjamin and I separated as boyfriends some time ago. We are still family to each other, and love each other very much.”

Anderson explained that he and his ex-boyfriend remained best friends and would continue sharing their lives. During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the television personality revealed one of the reasons that caused them to break up.

He shared how Benjamin wasn’t sure he wanted to have children. However, Anderson didn’t wait to have another partner before working on his dream of becoming a father and fulfilling it at age 53.

In 2020, when reaching the end of his segment on CNN, Anderson revealed that his first child and son, Wyatt Morgan, had been born. He also opened up about why the milestone was especially significant for him, stating:

“As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child.”

The star shared his gratitude for the people who paved the way for him to realize his dream. He also shared his appreciation of the nurses and doctors who took part in helping welcome his son.

The television personality also uploaded four Instagram images of his baby boy, with the first image showing him lovingly bottle-feeding Wyatt. In the post’s caption, he revealed that the boy was only then-three days old.

He explained how the child’s first name was the same as his own father, who passed on when he was just ten. The second name was a family one from his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt’s side, and also one his parents liked.

At the time, Anderson said he’d found a list his parents had made 52 years before when deciding what to name him. Little Wyatt was born weighing 7.2 lbs and was described as “sweet, and soft, and healthy.”

The journalist also thanked his son’s surrogate for carrying him, watching lovingly and tenderly over him, and giving birth to the boy. He also thanked the surrogate’s family for their support throughout the process and afterward.

Anderson concluded by revealing that he wished his mother, father, and brother, Carter, were alive to meet his son. However, he chose to believe they could see his child, and he imagined them smiling and laughing with their arms around each other.

He was happy knowing their love was still alive in him and Wyatt and that their family line would continue. In August 2020, Anderson heard that Wyatt’s sleep schedule was unusual for the then almost four-month-old child.

The newborn baby was sleeping for 12 hours each night! The CNN anchor explained that he was being assisted by a nurse and joked he wasn’t sure what she did to make the boy sleep so much, but whiskey and Ambien weren’t used!

Even though he had someone assisting him in taking care of the child, Anderson had one condition. The star said he didn’t want his child to be raised by a single parent.

During a May 2020 “The Howard Stern Show” appearance, Anderson explained why he didn’t want his child raised by him alone. After losing his father, the star noted how his mother wasn’t very parental when she raised him and his brother as a single parent.

He wished he’d had another adult who came in and filled that gap. Someone who would offer to take him to lunch or a ball game now and then, or suggest to talk to him, with the journalist adding:

“So I thought, ‘Well if something happens to me — or even if something doesn’t happen to me — if more people love my son and are in his life, I’m all for that.”

He noted how he thought having two parents would be good if possible. Ironically, even though he and Benjamin broke up, the former couple still lived together in their home because they got along well.

Anderson acknowledged the situation between him and the nightclub owner was “weird.” Although Benjamin was initially reluctant to have children, he’d come around to it and was now a great co-parent to little Wyatt.

The former couple lived together in the Greenwich Village firehouse home that Anderson bought in 2009 and renovated. The star said because Benjamin was French, Wyatt would probably call him “Papa” while he would be “Dad” or “Daddy.”

The businessman spoke to the little boy in his home language, and Anderson joked that he didn’t understand what he was saying and could be turning Wyatt against him! However, when asked if the former couple could get back together, the journalist said that wouldn’t happen.

While speaking to WSJ magazine in August 2020, Anderson revealed how becoming a father had woken him up. He shared how he’d felt he was waiting for his actual life to begin even though he was then-53.

The star said he’d focused on getting somewhere or having a story, but focusing on Wyatt finally gave an order to everything. The news anchor noted how “It’s changed everything.”

Anderson also used to wake up late because of working night shifts, but since welcoming Wyatt, he now woke up at seven in the morning. It was his goal to wake up before his son got up because it was the most significant moment of his day.

The newborn baby [Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper], who weighed 6.8 lbs. at birth, would also be co-parented with Benjamin [Maisani].
He loved seeing the little boy stretch and smile when he saw him. Anderson made his way to his son’s room on the fourth floor from the third one and waited for him to make sounds alerting the star that he was awake before going in to check up on him.

In June 2020, the television personality told People magazine that he was open to expanding his family in the future. However, he needed time to sleep more normally and clear his head first!

He thought having a sister or brother for Wyatt would be great. Then in February 2022, Anderson announced on “Anderson Cooper 360°” that he’d welcomed another son, Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper, through a surrogate!

The newborn baby, who weighed 6.8 lbs. at birth, would also be co-parented with Benjamin. The star also revealed at that moment that his former partner was in the process of adopting Wyatt, and the boy’s last name would be changed to Maisani-Cooper too.

Although in December 2020, after welcoming Wyatt, Anderson confessed that he’d become “more tired than I’ve ever been.” However, he loved being a father and “wouldn’t change it for the world,” plus seeing his son often moved him to tears.