Israeli gay couple Yonathan and Omer Gher left India on Monday with a month-old baby boy, born to a surrogate mother after Yonathan donated his sperm in January this year.
But choosing the egg donor was no easy task for the duo, who are among a rising number of gay couples seeking surrogate mothers in India.
“We screened profiles and prepared a shortlist,” said Yonathan (30), an activist and executive director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. “We then designed a questionnaire to evaluate preferences, lifestyle etc.”
The couple decided Yonathan would be the biological father. He donated the sperm i n January; the couple returned when they learned the mother was pregnant.
The apartment in Santacruz that the couple had temporarily rented is a picture of domesticity. Under the infant's bedsheet is a device that monitors its breathing. On the bedside table lies a small diary with details about the baby's feeding schedule, food intake and motions. Photos of him and his proud parents hang everywhere, even in the bathroom.
“Our baby is no accident. We have got it after so much struggle,” said Yonathan. “Our parents were initially disappointed there would be no children from us, but now they’re jubilant. My mother was even here. Israel has kids of all ages with same-sex parents. If there is opposition, we’ll teach him to be tough.”
Added Omer (31), a psychiatrist: “We are planning a second child through the same surrogate mother. We love this country.”