Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Modern Family 'Has Fed My Desire to Be a Dad'
The Modern Family star told PEOPLE watching his castmates grow has been "eye-opening"
“In the next year or two years I think we’ll start seriously thinking about expanding the family,” he told PEOPLE at Monday’s Spring-tervention PSA shoot, hosted by Febreze, Swiffer and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “We both have always wanted kids.”
According to Ferguson, his young costars, including Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Ferguson’s daughter, Lily, might be to blame for his brewing baby fever:
“Working with kids on set and having been with them now for six years and watching them go through their formative years has been really eye-opening,” he said. “It’s great, it definitely has fed my desire to be a dad.”
The actor, 39, has some real-life experience with kids. Ferguson is heavily involved with Turnaround Arts, an organization that supplies artistic resources to low-income elementary and middle schools.
“I just was with them, sitting in on a rehearsal for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” he said. “One of the boys was worried – ‘I have to hug a girl and I’m so embarrassed and I don’t want to do it!’ So I teach them, ‘Oh, you’re just playing a character and it’s fun, you aren’t yourself anymore, you’re another person.’ They’re very sweet kids. I’m thrilled to be working with them,” he said.
As a self-proclaimed neat freak, and as spokesperson for Swiffer and Febreze’s new certified asthma and allergy-friendly products, Ferguson will have to adapt to the inevitable clutter that comes with having kids.
“I am always picking up, I’m always straightening things, I’m always cleaning,” he said. “It’s a curse and a blessing. I’m always folding Justin’s clothes. I told him the other day I feel like I’m working at Banana Republic – all I’m doing is folding clothes all day.”
Ferguson is aware of the prejudice he might face if he decides to grow his family. When Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana recently made controversial comments about nontraditional families, stating that they oppose gay adoption and calling children born through in vitro fertilization “synthetic,” Ferguson took to Twitter to voice his disapproval.
“Help! I’m getting rid of my @dolcegabbana suits but I want to use the opportunity to raise $ for people who can’t afford IVF. Any ideas how?”
“I understand everyone has their own opinions, but I hope to have a family someday and I am probably going to have to look for, whether it be adoption or IVF, I’ll have to look for those alternate means,” he told PEOPLE. “It was disappointing but at the same time understandable. People have their own opinions, but you have to expect people are also going to have their own reactions to those opinions.”