Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sydney Star Observer - "Gay Men Redefining Fatherhood" by Sunny Burns

Every day gay fathers face negative social reactions. But despite the stigmas they’re now vital figures in the ongoing redefinition of fatherhood.

Author Theresa Miller is such a believer in this brave new parenting direction she has included a section on it in her new book Making Babies.

The book tells the personal memoirs of 14 different IVF users and gives insight into an array of topics from egg harvesting to blastocyst transferral.

IVF now accounts for three percent of all births in Australia, and with the push for children in the gay and lesbian community, Miller believes this figure will only continue to rise.

Gay father and doctor Jason, whose story is featured in Making Babies, said he wanted the gay community to know it could have children – and that it is one of the most rewarding opportunities in life.

“I always had this feeling that I wanted to have children,” he said. “I wanted to pass on things to a child like a sense of knowledge – nothing material.”

Jason said it was after watching a documentary on gay parenting that he was inspired to fulfil his life-long dream.

“I went on the internet and found this particular website on surrogacy and eventually flew over to Los Angeles and put a deposit down and that was it,” he said.

“My partner wasn’t very supportive at first because it never came to his mind that he could have children and he thought that I wouldn’t go through with it.

“Once the surrogate got pregnant he became very supportive and we flew to the US for the ultrasound and labour.”

The process wasn’t cheap, costing around $200,000, but the result was a gorgeous baby girl and an ongoing relationship with the surrogate mother.

“She’s just turned one and it’s going very well. And rewarding,” he said. “I hope people read the book and know that they do have the choice and don’t have to give up.”

Despite the joys and success of the program, Jason said he is still disappointed he was unable to explore the surrogacy option in Australia.

“The only regret I have is that it’s illegal to do it in Australia and it cost so much,” he said.

“This is unfair for people who don’t have the funds – we need to push for this so it’s available for everyone.”

As well as the book, Jason said there were extensive support networks around the country for gay couples with children or who want to have them.

“There’s a support group called Gay Dads,” Jason said. “It’s a diverse group of people who have gone through similar situations. There are about 10 couples in my group and we all keep in touch.”

Making Babies is out now, RRP $29.95. For more details on Gay Dads, check the website on www.gaydadsaustralia.com.

[Link: Original Article]

No comments: