London: Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, the first gay couple in Britain to have a baby with a surrogate mother, had to face a lot of flak but fewer scruples surround the practice today.
‘‘This is really the main reason we have decided to open the British Surrogacy Centre in early February,’’ the Telegraph quoted Barrie Drewitt-Barlow as saying.
But the couple believes that the recent birth of Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish’s baby Zachary might make the concept a lot more socially acceptable.
Couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual, can begin the process in the British centre, organising the medical and legal requirements and choosing the woman who will provide the eggs and the woman who will carry the child, and will only have to travel to the US for the birth.
In fact, it was these two who advised Sir Elton John when he and his civil partner David Furnish opted to have a surrogate son – Zachary, who was born on Christmas Day.
‘‘What we are hoping is that, by having a surrogate son, Sir Elton will make the whole concept more socially acceptable,” said Barrie.
At their time, the couple had to overcome harsh criticism.
‘‘Ten years ago, everyone thought we were a pair of paedophiles. They could not get their heads around a gay couple wanting to be parents. What else could we be? We had to be paedophiles. We have spent the past decade persuading people that is not the case. Like many couples, we just want a family. We are both from big families and wanted the same,” said Barrie.
“But things are changing so swiftly in this country. Soon, no one will care at all.’`