Gay involvement in assisted reproduction industry growing

Britain’s first gay fathers have opened up the country’s only surrogacy centre to cater for same-sex couples. Twelve years ago, Barrie and Tony Brewitt-Barlow used a surrogate mother and an egg donor to father twins Saffron and Aspen – causing a media storm. After they sold their clinical testing business in 1998, they were swamped by demands by same-sex couples for advice. Last year the couple, who have made a fortune from cosmetic research, were accused of fabricating the test results in clinical trials. They were also charged with lying to an ethics committee by claiming Barrie was a nurse when he was not appropriately qualified. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile, fertility experts in Melbourne are pushing an aggressive advertising campaign to recruit gay men to help single women start families. The campaign will direct its energies toward gay newspapers, magazines radio and online media outlets in an appeal to gay men to donate sperm. Melbourne IVF director Associate Professor John McBain said the campaign was a trailblazer for the clinic. “Many women in gay relationships are already recruiting a donor themselves, fairly often from guys in the gay community… not everyone has a pal like that. It seems a reasonable thing to recruit donors in the gay community, so other women without that pal can access that,” he said. ~ Daily Mail, Mar 13; Herald Sun, Mar 14

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