Doting over their month-old twins born to a surrogate mother, Alan Roth and Brian Blais, an American gay couple, do not want the children to forget their Indian roots.
As the partners, both of who are speech and hearing impaired, prepare to take their twins home to New York on Tuesday, they plan to bring the children to India often. “We want to give them an opportunity to understand their culture. Besides sign language, we want them to learn Hindi,” said Alan, 43.
The baby boy Seth and the girl Sela, were born in Rotunda, a fertility clinic in Bandra, on May 1. The couple runs a school in New York that teaches sign language. They have been together for 16 years and were legally married in Canada. Their attempts at adoption and surrogacy for the past six years in the US were not successful. “As a deaf and mute gay couple, adoption was not easy where the biological mother has the power to pick the adoptive parents,” said Brian, 45.
Internet searches and advice from friends led them to India. “India was our last hope. Medical expertise and personalised approach attracted us. The cost too was a consideration,” said Alan. The couple opted for an Indian egg donor after initial attempts with a fair-skinned donor didn’t work out.
“They reached India in August 2010. We created embryos using the eggs and Alan’s sperms, and then transferred them into a gestational surrogate,” said Dr Gautam Allahbadia, medical director, Rotunda Centre for Human Reproduction. “We have the embryos stored in vitrified (frozen) state which they can use any time to expand their family.”
The couple claimed to be fully equipped for parenthood. “We will use visual alerting devices to alert us when the babies cry,” said Alan. Dr Allahbadia said the clinic receives requests from around 20 gay couples every year from the UK, US, Australia and Spain.