Anderson Cooper explains why he's co-parenting with his ex

"I don’t really have a family and so my friends become my family," Cooper explained.
Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born on April 27, 2020.
Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born on April 27, 2020.andersoncooper/ Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Anderson Cooper knows what it’s like to grow up in a single-parent household and wants his newborn son, Wyatt, to have a different experience. That’s why he and his ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani, are raising the baby as co-parents.

Maisani and Cooper attend a benefit together for the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Nov. 2, 2015 in New York City.Gilbert Carrasquillo / FilmMagic

The CNN anchor explained his reasoning as a guest on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” on Tuesday.

Cooper said that after his father died when he was 10, it was just him, his older brother, Carter, and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.

“She was not the most parental person, and I wish some adult after my dad died had stepped in and just been like, ‘You know what? I’ll take you to a ball game or let's go out to lunch every now and then. Let’s just talk,’” Cooper said. “And 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.”

Cooper added he thinks it’s “good to have two parents if you can.”

Wyatt Morgan was born on April 27. At the time, Cooper said he had never imagined “as a gay kid” he would be able to have a child.

“He is sweet and soft and healthy and I am beyond happy,” he said, adding he wished his late family could meet the new baby.

“I do wish my mom and my dad and my brother Carter were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe that they can see him,” Cooper said. “I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing and watching looking down on us. Happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues in new life and new love.”

Carter Cooper died at 23 in 1988, while Vanderbilt, a famed socialite and heiress of one of the country's wealthiest families, died last year.

Author and actor Wyatt Emory Cooper, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, heiress and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper pose for a family portrait in their home on March 30, 1972 in Southampton, Long Island, New York.Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive / Getty Images

In his interview with Stern on Tuesday, Cooper added that Maisani has been speaking in French, his native language, to the baby. Wyatt will call Maisani “papa” and Cooper will be “dad, daddy.”

“He’s already speaking French to him; I have no idea what he’s saying,” Cooper laughed. “He could be turning the kid against me, I don’t know.”