A gay couple are set to become fathers to “twiplets” – three babies born to three surrogate mothers who all live on the same street in Suffolk, England. The news has been hailed as a “world first” by The Sun, but others are less impressed, with columnist Richard Littlejohn denigrating the arrangement as being about “what’s good for the adults, not for the children”.
The children, all of whom are due within seven months of each other, will not all be biologically related. Two of the children have been fathered by Daryl Lee, 41, and the third by his partner Luke Harris, 50.
Luke said “Our home felt empty without children. We never imagined we would have three at once. We’re filled with such excitement. Sometimes life works out in unexpected ways.
Daryl added “While it is unorthodox to have three surrogates at the same time, we couldn’t turn down what could be our only chance to have the big family we’d always dreamed of.”
The couple, who are adding a loft extension to their house to provide each child with a bedroom, has nicknamed the babies “the twiplets”.
The quintet met each other through a surrogacy website, a process which Luke described as “very much like dating”. The couple first made contact with Becky Harris (no relation), but she was already engaged by another couple to fulfil a surrogacy service, so she put Luke and Daryl in touch with her former sister in law, Bex Harris.
Bex agreed to help the couple and also put them in touch with her best friend Viktoria Ellis, who was seeking to become a first time surrogate and also agreed to help. Following the completion of her previous assignment, Becky then contacted the couple to inform them that she, too, was willing to become a surrogate.
The three friends are part of a “surrogacy circle” run by a woman nicknamed “Mama Stork”. She is 50-year-old Karen Harris, Becky’s mother. A fourth woman, mother-of-six Jemma King, is also part of the circle, according to the Daily Mail.
Karen said: “We all meet once a week for a cuppa and a chat at mine. We’re like a little family. We’re very proud of what we do. Some people have accused me of pimping out my daughter and the other girls, but they have no idea what an amazing gift surrogacy is. It fills a devastating hole in the lives of childless couples.”
The women insist that they provide the service for altruistic purposes, but are set to receive an expenses payment of up to £15,000. Surrogacy is illegal in the UK for commercial purposes, but surrogates are able to claim expenses to cover items such as clothing, travel and loss of earnings.
Meanwhile, the couple has come under fire for “buying babies to order,” whilst many Christians are concerned about the lack of a female role model in the babies’ lives.
Discussing the story on a Catholic forum, ‘JimG’ commented “If these men wanted to have children, they should have married women. Now, they will be bringing three children into a disordered living situation. It is an injustice to the children.”
Forum user ‘FollowChrist34’ added “Yep, it is all about worship of self. It’s like they’re playing dolls here – fulfilling a dream.
“Of course in the past, the Judeo-Christian tradition has guarded us against these excesses of ego and self-indulgence, teaching us to balance and restrain our desires for the good of others – keeping the common good at the core of the social structure.
“For me, THIS is what the argument against gay marriage/adoption is about – nothing more.”
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Richard Littlejohn was scathing: “Not so long ago a ‘world first’ for Britain would have been the invention of the jet engine or the hovercraft. Now it’s born-to-order test-tube twiplets with two gay fathers and three this-womb’s-for-hire mothers.
“Luke and Daryl describe the whole process as ‘very much like dating’. No, it isn’t. This is a commercial transaction for the gratification of five adults. What we’re dealing with here is children as commodities.
“I still believe that children are best brought up by a man and a woman.
“I know we’re all meant to be ‘inclusive’ and are legally obliged to celebrate ‘diversity’ at all times, but I have to confess I’m not comfortable with the recent phenomenon of homosexual couples buying babies to order. Nor, I suspect, are the vast majority of people in this country, even though they are cowed into keeping their opinions to themselves.
“Has no one stopped to consider what the twiplets are going to make of it when they get older? Shouldn’t have thought so for a moment. This is about what’s good for the adults, not for the children. It’s part of the depressing modern trend towards treating children as fashion accessories, like the latest handbag or breed of designer dog.”