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Friday, September 11, 2015

Ipswich mum gives gay couple the chance to be parents through surrogacy

Redbank  Plains mum Tegan White is carrying the child of a gay couple and helping to complete their much wanted family.

The 29-year-old met Jason and Chris Lilwall via an ­online site and established a connection after meeting face-to-face.

“I’ve had a failed journey (with surrogacy) before but wanted to try it again,” Ms White said.

The mother of three children herself offered to be the couple’s surrogate after her close friend had difficulties falling pregnant.

Diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Ms White fell pregnant with her son after finishing treatment.

Ms White was carrying twins for the Lilwalls but lost one baby at nine weeks. She is due to give birth in January.

She said her surrogacy journey helped through Brisbane’s Life Fertility clinic was a great way to help those who did not have the power to bear children themselves.

Jason, 43, and Chris, 37, have been married for 10 years after having a ceremony in New Zealand. The couple have one child, Jake, also born via a surrogate.

“This is the second time down this road for us with a different surrogate. We keep in contact with everyone ­involved with the process ­including the egg donor who helped us have Jake,” Jason said.

Jason said his immediate family turned their back on him when he told them of his sexuality.

“What matters now is that I have a family who loves me unconditionally,” he said.

According to non-profit organisation Surrogacy Australia, same-sex Queensland couples desiring to have a family are on the rise.

President Robert Reith said surrogacy was a hot topic in Queensland due to many factors including the strong desire to parent among many who cannot carry a child themselves.

Mr Reith said there were currently no government statistics indicating the number of surrogacy births in Queensland.

“But based on our own research, we believe there were about 20 births using a surrogate in 2012 across Australia,” he said.

“This compares to about 500 Intending Parents (IP’s) going overseas. We believe there were about 300 children born using an overseas surrogate in 2012, and we expect this number has increased substantially since.”

According to the Queensland Government website and Surrogacy Law Act 2010, in Queensland, any person, regardless of their relationship status, can enter into a non-commercial surrogacy arrangement.


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