While the issue of gay parenting isn't new in the United States, the recent effort of two British men to start a family has caused quite a stir in the U.K. The Early Show reports.
Barrie Drewitt is cooking dinner for the woman carrying his twins. That's not so unusual except for the fact that she's not the babies' biological mother, and he will not be the babies' only father.
Drewitt and his partner of 11 years, Tony Barlow, made British headlines recently when word got out that they had employed a U.S. surrogacy agency to help them become parents.
"Tony and I were the first known same-sex partners to use a surrogate in the U.S.," says Drewitt.
The couple came to the United States after being turned down for adoption in Britain, which also has tighter surrogacy laws.
They turned to Los Angeles-based Growing Generations, the nation's first surrogacy agency catering to an exclusively gay clientele.
"We get inquiries from all over the globe, and more and more people coming forward who couldn't do this in their home countries, whether they were infertile couples or gay couples or individuals," says Growing Generations' Gail Taylor.
Drewitt and Barlow used separate women for the egg donation and for the surrogacy, hoping to eliminate any one woman's legal right to custody.
Tracie Matthews, a mother of two, provided the eggs. The fertilized embryos were then implanted into Rosalind Bellamy, the woman hired to carry the babies.
"The profile that was sent to me talked about their long struggle with the social services and what they had to go through," explains Bellamy.
"And every bit of that struggle, the no, no, no, no, no, I thought, that's the part of giving someone life that I was looking for," she adds.
Bellamy is in her seventh month with twins, a boy and a girl, whom Drewitt and Barlow have already named Aspen and Saffron.
And a California court recently ruled that both Barlow and Drewitt would be listed on the babies' birth certificates as the legal fathers.
It's the first-known ruling of its kind for a couple from the U.K., where an unmarried couple has never been named as legal parents in a surrogate case.
Bellamy and Drewitt are starting their own surrogacy agency, California Surrogacy Specialists International, which may be reached by calling (209) 656-7480, or by accessing its Web site at www.calisurrogacy.qpg.com.
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