Gay fathers spend $100k to ensure next child is a daughter

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Gay fathers spend $100k to ensure next child is a daughter
Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow with their children Aspen, Saffron, Orlando, Jasper and Dallas. © Facebook.

A gay couple have spent $100,000 to undergo a controversial IVF treatment that will ensure their sixth child is a girl.

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow travelled from their native Britain to the US to visit a fertility clinic that specialises in sex selection, a process which is illegal in the UK and Australia.

The couple are already parents to four boys and a girl — all conceived using Barrie or Tony's sperm, egg donors and surrogate mothers at a cost of more than $1.5 million — and are desperate for another daughter.

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Two weeks ago, three female embryos were implanted in a surrogate mother in California. Barrie, 42, and Tony, 47, are now waiting to hear if their surrogate is pregnant.

As three embryos have been used, it's possible the woman will have triplets or twins — Barrie and Tony already have two sets of twins, Aspen and Saffron and Jasper and Dallas, in addition to their middle child Orlando.

Like the couple's previous children, any new addition will be the biological child of Barrie or Tony but will call both "dad". The couple know whose sperm conceived each child, but have decided to keep that information a secret, even from the kids themselves.

Barrie says the couple hope to have three more daughters, and plan to spoil them all with designer clothes and diamond jewellery.

"We would love to have three more girls," he told the UK's Closer magazine. "Saffron would love to have little sisters to play with.

"We can't wait to spoil our new daughters. I want to buy them pink Prada dresses and babygros. We will recycle too.

"We are going to use Saffron's old wicker crib from Harrods, which cost $7800, and divide one of the $150,000 diamond necklaces she does not wear any more into individual pieces for the babies."

Barrie and Tony are outspoken advocates for the controversial sex selection technique, which is only legal in the US, Mexico, Italy and Thailand.

Tony says they would love children of any gender, but would prefer girls as they already have four boys.

"If sex selection was not possible, we would still have more children and love them, whatever their gender," he said.

"But the technology is available and we wanted girls to balance our family. It causes outrage but I bet most people would do it."

Barrie and Tony are millionaires who became famous in 1999 when they became the first gay couple in the UK to be named on their children's birth certificates.

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They now run a surrogacy clinic to help other gay couples realise their dream of starting a family and use the profits to spoil their own kids.

"Saffron's clothes come from every designer from Gucci and Karen Millen and she has 500 pairs of shoes," Barrie said.

"We spent $80,000 having her room designed like a swanky London flat with a 39-inch plasma TV and furniture from Harrods. The boys are not as bothered about clothes, but we get them the latest iPads and laptops.

"People say we should not spoil them, but they deserve it."

Your say: Do you think sex selection should be illegal? Would you choose the sex of your child if you could?

Video: Mum and surrogate both expecting twins

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