Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Melbourne Leader - "Life’s Indian Givers" by Hamish Heard

AN increasing number of homosexual Melbourne men are flying to India to save money on the cost of having babies, a gay parents’ organisation says.

Gay Dads Australia spokesman Rodney Cruise said gay Melburnians could save about $90,000 by using Indian surrogate mothers.

It is illegal for gay couples to have babies via surrogacy in Australia. But during the past seven years many have flown to the US or Canada where they pay about $120,000.

“Gay couples who previously wouldn’t have been able to have children because California is too expensive can take up the Indian option for basically a quarter of the cost,” Mr Cruise said.

“We’re seeing more and more couples take up the Indian option,” he said.

Mr Cruise said surrogacy cost only $30,000 in India.

Most of the money is paid to the surrogate, a woman who agrees to carry an embryo in her womb for the term of the pregnancy before giving birth and handing over the baby. Mr Cruise said couples could conceive using anonymous donor eggs or eggs donated by a relative or friend.

“Mostly it’s gestational, where the surrogate carries an embryo that has been created outside the womb. The surrogate rarely would use their own egg,” Mr Cruise said.

Until couples cottoned on to Indian surrogacy, only older, better-off couples could afford children.
“Generally people have been mortgaging their homes to fund this, and that’s fine for people who are in that position, but it can be heartbreaking for those without the resources to do so,” Mr Cruise said.
He said the “vast majority” of Australians using overseas surrogates were from Melbourne.

“There’s probably 40 couples that I know that have had children via surrogacy.” He said many gay couples had been inspired by a 2003 documentary called Man Made: Two Men and a Baby, about Tony Wood and Lee Matthews, a Melbourne couple who became one of the first Australia to produce a baby using an overseas surrogate.

“Maybe Melbourne is just a town where people settle down, or it could be the fact that the pioneering couples were from Melbourne and that’s had an effect of inspiring others around them,” Mr Cruise said.

[Link: Original Article ]

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