Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black shut down negativity over surrogacy instead of adoption
New parents Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black have hit back at people who questioned why they chose to have a baby via a surrogate rather than go down the adoption route.
Talking to The Telegraph, the Olympic diver and Academy Award-winning screenwriter addressed the overwhelming backlash they’ve received, from homophobic online trolls, to those who condemn commercial surrogacy because they believe it exploits women.
The pair shared the news of their baby joy in February by posting a photograph in which they’re both holding an ultrasound scan and in the weeks that followed, the volume of unkind comments and negative responses shocked Black.
“I was very surprised by the reaction because so many people I know have done it,” he told the publication, claiming that their American fans have not been quite as vocal about their methods of expanding their family as fans from the UK have been.
“In the US it was all positive, but I think that’s because it’s a different system. Laws are in place there, protections are in place, there is a better understanding, I think law can help lead to understanding.”
“Right now it’s like the Wild West in the UK,” Daley added. “In the States, there is a legal framework, you are not allowed to do it if you need the money. The surrogate is better protected as well as the intended parents. It’s just safer for everyone.”
Daley went on to voice how frustrating it is for the couple to have to justify their decisions and claimed that new parents who are heterosexual wouldn’t get the same treatment.
“Lots of people say, ‘Why don’t you adopt?’ You wouldn’t say that to a straight couple. You wouldn’t say: ‘Why do you deserve to have a biological kid?’” he said.
During the interview, Daley also opened up about his and Black’s relationship with the surrogate who delivered their son, Robert Ray Black-Daley.
“She becomes such a massive part of your life for those nine months,” he told The Telegraph.
“You’re only matched with people who have the same desire, some don’t want to have long-term relationships [with the parents]. We talk to ours all the time. This is a very familial process.”
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Daley, 24, is set to star in a BBC documentary about surrogacy that will see him “confront people who don’t believe that two fathers should have a child via a surrogate,” as well as explain how the process works.
Currently scheduled to air in 2019, it will also feature Daley interviewing people who want to change the law and attitudes surrounding surrogacy in the UK.
While it isn’t illegal to use a surrogate in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is a criminal offence to advertise that you are looking for a surrogate, or are willing to act as a surrogate. Similarly, it is an offence to set up a commercial surrogacy arrangement.