Monday, April 2, 2007

The Age - "Baby Ethan a priceless 'gift' worth every cent" by Carol Nadar

IT'S hard to tell who baby Ethan's biological father is. And that's the way his parents, Rodney and Jeff Chiang-Cruise, intended it to be.

The Melbourne couple recently returned from Ohio with their three-month old son, who was conceived in the US through a surrogacy arrangement.

They used two egg donors. Sperm from Rodney, who is Caucasian, was used to create an embryo with an Asian donor's egg. Sperm from Jeff, who has an Asian background, was fertilised with a Caucasian donor's egg. Both embryos were implanted into the surrogate, Kelly.

If both embryos were successful, the men would each be the biological parent of a twin.

If one was successful — as it turned out — the child would at least have physical traits from both their backgrounds.

A DNA test after Ethan's birth confirmed who the biological father is. But that information, they say, is for Ethan to know.

Their son will never know, however, the identity of his biological mother.

Australian gay couples are increasingly seeking surrogacy arrangements in the US to fulfil their parental dreams.

To meet the $150,000 cost of conceiving Ethan, of which up to a quarter went to the surrogate, Rodney and Jeff remortgaged their house. Rodney says it is "just really shitty" that loving couples have to travel to become parents.

The Law Reform Commission says gay and lesbian couples and single women should have equal access to surrogacy as others.

Rodney says conservative opponents such as the Catholic Church should direct their energy into caring for neglected or abused children living in conventional families.

"They should stop worrying about people who are creating families out of love," he says.

Rodney is comfortable with the commercial aspect of Ethan's conception. The surrogate made some money, but she already had her own family.

"This was a gift that she wanted to share with somebody else."

[Link: Original Article]

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