Britain’s first gay dads are set to welcome triplets after a £1million journey to complete their IVF family.
And they could make history with three parents on the birth certificates.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, 51, is celebrating with fiancé Scott Hutchison, 26, and ex-husband Tony, 56.
Delighted Barrie tells the Sunday Mirror: “It is the most incredible feeling. We are thrilled. Family is everything.”
The news comes 21 years after he and Tony became the first British same-sex couple formally registered as parents.
The family already have six kids. And their fertility bill soared past £1million after a surrogate in America was inseminated with three IVF embryos – triplets to be born in the UK next year.
Two of the embryos, which have been kept on ice for 22 years, are the offspring of Barrie and Tony and form part of a clutch which led to the births of their three eldest children: Saffron, 22, Aspen, 22, and brother Orlando, 17.
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© Press People)
The third embryo is the biological twin of Barrie and Scott’s daughter, 15-month-old Valentina. It is from a batch – also frozen – created in 2019.
This means if all the babies reach full term, two will be quintuplets of Barrie’s eldest and one will be a twin to his youngest.
Barrie tells us: “I am as excited about this pregnancy as I was about the first.
“I never thought I would be going down this road again but I’m so in love with Scott and have so enjoyed having Valentina, that when Scott said he’d love to do it again I jumped at the chance. And here we are, pregnant yet again. I love it.”
Barrie hit the headlines in 1999 when he and long-term partner Tony became Europe’s first same-sex couple to use a surrogate.
They went to court to be allowed to have same-sex parents on the birth certificates as “parent one” and “parent two” instead of “mother and father”.
It was a historic, trailblazing case for LGBTQA+ families. Barrie adds: “It still makes me feel amazing that we did that. I’m so wonderfully grateful that fight has been won.
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“But if I have three children we will have parent one, two and three and I will challenge the law again.”
A legal precedent has been set in the US by a gay “throuple”. But it has not yet been tested in the UK.
Barrie adds: “This might sound crazy, but I am sure three people’s names will also become the norm one day.”
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Lawyer Vandana Chitroda, head of the family department at RIAA Barker Gillette, said the family could lobby the UK Government for a law change.
She said: “The law governing surrogacy is being reviewed. Barrie, Tony and Scott should seek a change in the law to enable a Parental Order to be made in favour of all three of them.
“Currently, it provides for a maximum of two applicants where one must have provided the gametes (genetic material) used to create the embryo. If Barry, Tony and now Scott are able to change the law twice in their lifetimes, it would be an incredible achievement and fantastic legacy to leave the LGBTQA+ community.”
Barrie and Tony became civil partners in 2006. They are worth £100million from property, Bitcoin investment and medical research.
Their wealth has almost tripled from medical work, including pioneering clinical trials on Covid vaccines and treatments. They are also in talks to do a UK reality TV show.
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They wed in 2014, separated in 2019 but still share a £6million, 10-bedroomed mansion in Florida so they can co-parent all their children.
Tony and new love Brent are in a separate wing. And there are plans for a UK base – a mansion in Essex.
Barrie – who got engaged last year to his former PA Scott – goes on: “We see ourselves simply as a family. That’s what we are and we love the way our life is and the bubble we have created to keep our children safe and happy.
“Our home is a happy and loving one. Tony has given my relationship with Scott his blessing. We are still each other’s best friends. Things are great with Scott and I. We are very much in love. I could not imagine life without him. Even though Tony and I are no longer a couple we both want to be there for our children.
“They think that it is awesome to have siblings that have been on ice for over 22 years. It’s like a science fiction movie.”
Meanwhile the family are celebrating news of the triplets with a “superextravagant” Christmas.
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Barrie says: “Everyone is getting a new car. We are building a mansion that will be our UK home. Each child will have their own room which we are allowing them to decorate with the latest of everything.
“We have a budget of £1.5million to decorate the rooms the way they want them. On top, each of our children have an unlimited amount to pick the presents – they can have whatever they like.
“Aspen and Orlando want Lamborghini Urus and Saffron wants a Mercedes.
“Valentina will have a Tiffany diamond bracelet, along with lots of dolls, a pram and a bike.”
Next Christmas promises to be even more hectic. And might there be yet more kids?
Without hesitation, Barrie replies: “This is definitely it. No more pregnancies for me after this one!”
Plan for the clan
Dads Barrie, Tony and Scott Drewitt-Barlow all provided sperm during the IVF process.
They have chosen not to genetically test their respective children to confirm who is the dad. It gives them equality as parents. But it also means the biological lineage of their kids is blurred.
Here’s the breakdown: SAFFRON and twin ASPEN: Born December 1999. Created using a US donor egg and both Barrie and Tony’s sperm.
ORLANDO: Born August 2003. Triplet to Saffron and Aspen, his embryo was on kept on ice.
JASPER and DALLAS: Twins, born February 2010.
VALENTINA: Born September 2020. First daughter of Barrie and Scott.
TRIPLETS 1 and 2: Embryos created in 1997 from the IVF cycle that led to the birth of Saffron, Aspen and Orlando.
TRIPLET 3: Created in 2019 and the twin of Valentina.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.