April 17, 2024

Lawyers cater for homosexual dads

Some US law firms are specialising in arranging surrogate mothers for homosexuals who want to be fathers. A feature in the Washington Post profiles Creative Family Connections, a three-year- old law firm founded by Harvard Law School graduate Diane S. Hinson. About half of her 25 current clients are gay. To minimise future disputes, she works only with surrogates who have no genetic link to the baby. Egg donors are usually paid US$7,500 and surrogates $20,000 for a single baby and $25,000 for twins. She screens donors with a questionnaire, organises a meeting with the dad at Starbucks and guides both through a 30-page contract. “It was very important to me to look the egg donor in the eye,” says one of her clients. A meeting at Starbucks is “not a lot to choose the mother of your child.”

The phenomenon of homosexual and lesbian parenting has been dubbed the “gayby boom”, but there is very little information on how many such children there are. In 2000 USA Today estimated that there were between 3 and 6 million; five years later a sociologist cited by the Post estimates that there are only 1 million. “The truth is that no one knows,” says Charlotte J. Patterson, of the University of Virginia.