National Post

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Thursday, September 02, 1999

Gays bypass British law to father twins
David Graves
The Daily Telegraph

LONDON - Two British homosexual millionaires disclosed yesterday that they are to become fathers of twins carried by an American surrogate mother for $320,000 (all figures US).

Family groups denounced the decision by the couple -- Barrie Drewitt, 30, and Tony Barlow, 35 -- who bypassed British law in providing sperm which fertilized donor eggs implanted in Rosalind Bellamy, 32.

Ms. Bellamy is due to give birth to a boy and girl in California in December, after which the babies will be handed over to the men, who plan to bring them up at their mock-Grecian bungalow in Chelmsford, north of London.

The men, who own a vacation home in Beverly Hills, decided on arranging the birth in the United States to avoid more stringent British laws which do not allow surrogacy to be advertised.

They are understood to have used a Los Angeles-based surrogate agency specializing in providing children for homosexual couples, which advertises on the Internet.

Although there is no law in Britain to prevent surrogacy for couples of any sexual persuasion, it is illegal for surrogates to advertise as they are able to do in America.

Valerie Riches, the director of the independent think-tank Family and Youth Concern, said: "We talk in this country about putting the needs of the children first, but it would seem that their needs are secondary to the needs of adults.

"It is not a natural environment for children to be brought up in and children have a right to know their heritage."

In an article in Woman's Own magazine, the men dismissed criticism of the birth as "bigoted."

"We are bound to be criticized because we are gay," Mr. Drewitt, a former nurse, said. "But plenty of heterosexual people become parents by mistake and don't even want a child.

"We're in a long-term stable relationship and we have a strong extended family. Nobody can ever say that these children are not wanted. The kids will be loved as much as any other and perhaps more than quite a few," he said.

The men have already chosen names for their children -- Saffron for the girl and Aspen for the boy. Until blood tests are completed on the children, it will not be known who is the biological father of which child.

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