Dream turns sour for gay expat couple
18 February 2004, ELCHE - A controversial gay British couple who moved to Spain for its family atmosphere are claiming they are the victims of homophobia, it was reported Wednesday.
18 February 2004
ELCHE - A controversial gay British couple who moved to Spain for its family atmosphere are claiming they are the victims of homophobia, it was reported Wednesday.
Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow sparked controversy in their own country when they hired an American woman to bear their children.
The couple, who sold a dermatological product testing business in 1998 for EUR 5.6 million, spent EUR 280,000 on in-vitro fertilisation of eggs from a donor friend and on finding a birth mother to carry them.
When their story became public it caused fierce controversy in Britain and the couple became the targets of hate mail.
Eventually, they decided to move to Elche, near Alicante, to escape the taunts.
Originally, they said people in Elche were more sympathetic to their version of family life than in Britain.
But El Pais newspaper reported Wednesday that the couple now claim their children are subjected to homophobia.
They have withdrawn their four-year-old twins, Aspen and Saffron, from a local school because they claimed the children were asked about their "fathers".
The children will be schooled at home. The couple also have a baby son called Orlando.
The couple said: "We became aware that our children were being questioned by the parents of the other children about us, our situation and our way of life."
But Antonio Alonso, director of the Limonar International School, said the decision to remove the children was "extreme".
He added: "We have done everything possible to protect these children."
In an earlier interview, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said: "Spaniards are so family orientated. They are so pleased to see kids. They are getting attention here because they are kids, not because they have gay parents."
Subject: Spanish news