As Britain’s original ‘gay dads’, they are used to breaking taboos.
Now Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, who in 1999 were the first gay men in the UK to father children through surrogacy, have decided to have triplets to add to their four sons and a daughter.
And, to ensure they have three girls to create a gender balance, they are using embryo sex selection. The process is illegal in Britain so the couple are having eggs tested in the US for implantation into a surrogate.
The pair, who claim that there is ‘too much testosterone’ in their family, will next week ascertain the gender of ten spare embryos that have remained frozen at a US fertility clinic since their last pregnancy six years ago.
This means the triplets would effectively be quintuplets as they are from same batch of embryos as the couple’s six-year-old twins, Jasper and Dallas. The twins’ biological mother is a Brazilian model whom Barrie, 48, and Tony, 52, spotted on a catwalk and persuaded to donate her eggs for £50,000.
Despite the Drewitt-Barlows’ claim that the triplets will complete their family, their daughter Saffron, 17, said her fathers are ‘way too old’ for more babies. Barrie rejects this, adding: ‘There is plenty of life in me yet, look at Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, no one is saying they are past it.
All our children are growing up so fast. My biological clock is ticking and I really would love to have more babies, as all too soon our children will be thinking about flying the nest. I need to have another princess in my life – or two or three. There’s way too much testosterone in our house with four boys, Tony and I.’
The couple, who have homes in Danbury, Essex, and the US, were inspired to expand their family after Tony was diagnosed with aggressive throat cancer in 2006, from which he is now in remission.
‘I’ve really had to talk Tony into it. Initially Tony felt that we’ve got enough children,’ said Barrie. ‘But I haven’t been able to get out of my head that we have ten embryos stored in a freezer and even though they are only cells at the moment they still feel like my children.’