Gay dads celebrate christening for their three surrogate children

July 5, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Britain’s most famous gay dads celebrated christenings for three of their surrogate children during a low-key church ceremony in Essex.

Millionaire gay couple Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow made history eleven years ago when they fathered twins Saffron and Aspen using a surrogate mum in the USA.

The couple, who live in a luxury Grade II listed building in Chelmsford, Essex, became dads again when a surrogate mum gave birth to two twin boys Dallas and Jasper in February.

They held a quiet ceremony attended by 40 friends and family at St John Baptist Church, in Danbury, Essex, yesterday, for the twins and their seven-year-old son Orlando.

Hairdresser Tony, 41, and Orlando arrived in a Range Rover with personalised plate BAZ BLOW wearing matching cream suits with unbuttoned black shirts.

Barrie, 44, drove a Bentley with number plate ALFIE and wore a pin-striped blue suit an light blue matching tie and shirt during the ceremony.

Children Dallas and Jasper were carried to the ceremony wearing ivory-white gowns.

A passer-by, 38, said: ”We were out for a walk when we heard Barrie and Tony were at the church their children again.

”I was quite surprised it was such a low-key event, I imagined it would have been much more lavish.”

Among the invited guests were surrogate mum Rosalind Bellamy and egg donor Alexandra Cooper-Strash, described as an up and coming Russian model.

Barrie and Tony are both openly gay and Christian but have provoked anger from church groups and received death threats accused of attempting to create a ”designer” family.

They were the first same-sex couple to be named parents on children’s birth certificates following lengthy legal battle for Aspen and Saffron, now ten-years-old.

They fell out with genetic mother of their children Tracey McCune, who accused them of raising a bunch of spoilt brats.

She revealed the gay couple showered their twins with designer goods and told how Saffron wore Chanel No 5 perfume, diamonds and designer clothing.

Canon Dr Graham Blyth carried out 30 minute long christening ceremony at 12.15pm yesterday.

Barrie said “It is important for us to have the children all christened, as a Christian family we feel that it is important for our children to be given the opportunity to follow the teachings of the church and if they decide when they are older not to, then that is their choice.”

The couple also baptised Saffron and Aspen at the same picturesque St John the Baptist Church, in Danbury, Essex, in May 2000.

Tony said: ”The church in Danbury helped me through all the problems I had experienced when I was diagnosed with throat cancer a couple of years ago, without that help and support, I don’t think that I would be here today”.

The triple christening ceremony will feature in a C4 Cutting Edge documentary due to be aired on July 21.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the couple’s attempts to create a family through surrogacy and egg donation.

It also aims to highlight the abuse and homophobia the family have to put up with from other families on a daily basis.

Barrie and Tony, originally from Manchester, become a couple and move in with each other in Bicknacre, Essex, in 1988.

After a five-year transatlantic battle and with the help of some of the world’s leading IVF doctors and surrogate mothers, they became fathers for the first time in December 1999.

Surrogate mum Rosalind Bellamy became pregnant with twins Saffron and Aspen following artificial insemination with eggs donated by Tracie Matthews and Barrie and Tony’s sperm.

US Supreme Court later granted Barrie and Tony the right to be named as their fathers.

They used the same surrogate mum four years later when they went on to become fathers to Orlando.

The couple flew to the states to interview 17 women before choosing their egg donor for their new twins Dallas and Jasper.

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