The London Women's Clinic (LWC) has reportedly received an application for fertility treatment by two gay men wanting to raise a child who wish to use one of the couple's sister as a surrogate.
Up to 30 percent of LWC's clients are lesbian couples, representing an increase of about ten percent from ten years ago, but the applications to the clinic made this week are the first to be received from a male same-sex couple. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Dr Kamal Ahuja, scientific director at LWC confirmed that the clinic's ethics committee was considering the application alongside another received from a gay couple who have also applied for treatment using a surrogate.
The LWC was one of the first clinics to admit lesbian's for donor insemination and has carried out studies demonstrating that the wellbeing of children is not compromised by the absence of a 'father figure'.
Dr Ahuja said: 'The definition of a traditional family is progressively fading. Though we had concerns some years ago, the evidence now is that we need not worry in terms of same-sex parenting'. He added: 'Families of the future may combine up to five parents. Regardless of culture, the evidence is that children adapt well and it's the quality of the nurturing environment which is important'.
The surrogacy application made to LWC is not unique in the UK. Last year it was reported that Lorna Bradley had acted as a surrogate for her brother and his partner but until recently gay couples have been said to be more likely to travel to the United States to enter into surrogacy arrangements where there is less regulation. If the application is accepted by LWC and the attempted surrogacy is successful, the couple will be among the first gay men in the UK who will both be entitled to be a named parent on the child's birth certificate since changes were made to the law in April 2010.