Two Melbourne men have become the first Australian gay couple to have a baby via a surrogate mother. Trevor Elwell and Peter West paid $40,000 for a woman in India to give birth to their twin girls Gaia and Evelyn, the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes will report tonight. The girls, born last week, were conceived with the couple’s sperm in a test tube with eggs bought over the internet.
Adoption and commercial surrogacy is illegal for homosexuals in Australia, but there is no law against providing the service in India. Fertility specialist Dr Gautum Allahbadia, who coordinated the birth of the twins, said he had no scruples about helping Elwell and West start a family. “I believe every human being has a right to procreate and as long as I’m practising medicine within the purview of Indian law … I would offer this service to anybody,” he said.
Dr Allahbadia said the process of ordering a surrogate baby had been made remarkably simple. “The most fascinating thing is that you don’t have to come to India,” he said. “You have to just send your sperm by [courier]. We find an egg donor, we get your surrogate pregnant. “You just come down, pick up your baby, and go back home.” Elwell and West told 60 Minutes the birth of their twin girls had felt natural and “absolutely right”. But West conceded there would come a time when some difficult questions were directed their way. “There’s no hiding the fact that we’re two guys,” he said. “They’re going to grow up finding this totally normal until they see otherwise and then, you know, when they start asking questions we’ll give them the answers.”