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Indefensible Decision: No Murder Charge for Suspect Who Cut Out a Pregnant Woman’s Baby

The decision by the prosecutor not to file murder charges against Dynel Lane is indefensible and a miscarriage of justice. Three of my children were born in the 8th month of pregnancy. All three left the hospital the next day. Simply defies logic and basic understanding of pregnancy to even suggest that a baby 32+ weeks is not viable. The prosecutor needs to answer for this mystifying decision:

A former nurse’s aide will not face murder charges for allegedly cutting and removing an unborn baby from the mother’s womb, Boulder County, Colorado, prosecutor Stanley Garnett said Thursday.

The mother, Michelle Wilkins, answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes on March 18.

When she arrived at the purported seller’s home in Longmont, she was attacked, beaten, cut open and her fetus was removed. The baby did not survive.

Wilkins was treated at a hospital and later released.

The alleged attacker, Dynel Lane, 34, is being held on a $2 million bond.

Viable life

After the attack, prosecutors said it may be hard to muster a murder charge. Colorado state law does not recognize a fetus as a person, unless it is capable of surviving for a period of time outside the womb, a prosecutor said then.

But the extent of the period that the fetus must survive in order to be defined as a baby is not legally clear.

Lane’s husband, David Ridley, told police he found the baby on the day of the attack in a bathtub taking a breath.

Donor Agencies Likely to Face Restrictions on Handling Client Trust Funds

Egg donor agencies are up next. A new proposed law will now significantly change how California egg donor agencies handle client trust funds. Well more specifically, the law will make clear that egg donor agencies must play by the same rules as surrogate agencies with regards to client trust funds. Under current California law, enacted in 2010, surrogacy agencies are prohibited from managing and dispersing client trust funds. More specifically, Family code §7961 requires non-attorney surrogacy facilitators deposit client funds into either:

1) An independent, bonded escrow depository maintained by a licensed, independent, bonded escrow company; or
2) A trust account maintained by an attorney.

The term “surrogacy facilitators” was further defined and included to §7960 as follows:

(e) “Surrogacy facilitator” means a person or organization that engages in either of the following activities:
1) Advertising for the purpose of soliciting parties to an assisted reproduction agreement or acting as an intermediary between the parties to an assisted reproduction agreement.
2) Charging a fee or other valuable consideration for services rendered relating to an assisted reproduction agreement.

This definition on its face could arguably be interpreted to include all assisted reproduction related agencies, not just surrogate agencies. The plain language of the definition refers to parties engaging in activities related to assisted reproduction instead of specifically surrogacy. So were egg donor agencies prohibited from holding client trust funds since 2010? That can definitely go both ways. Ultimately, the term “surrogacy facilitator” was defined, so the reference to an assisted reproduction agreement could have likely and more realistically been in the context of a surrogacy arrangement. It really falls back to the legislative intent.

However, proposed AB1049 solves any misconceptions. This new proposed law, introduced on February 26, 2015, will specifically include egg donor facilitators under §7961. If such bill is passed, it will be very clear that egg donor agencies, just like surrogate agencies, will be required to direct their clients to bonded escrow companies or attorneys to maintain client trust accounts.

Here is the text of what may soon become California Family Code §§7960, 7961:

AB 1049, as introduced, Patterson. Parent and child relationship.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

PART 7. SURROGACY FACILITATORS AND AND
DONOR FACILITATORS, ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AGREEMENTS FOR
GESTATIONAL CARRIERS, AND OOCYTE DONATIONS

SEC. 4. Section 7960 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7960. For purposes of this part, the following terms have the
following meanings:

(a) “Assisted reproduction agreement” has the same meaning as
defined in subdivision (b) of Section 7606.

(b) “Fund management agreement” means the agreement between the
intended parents and the surrogacy or donor facilitator
relating to the fee or other valuable consideration for services
rendered or that will be rendered by the surrogacy or donor
facilitator.

(c) “Intended parent” means an individual, married or unmarried,
who manifests the intent to be legally bound as the parent of a child
resulting from assisted reproduction.

(d) “Nonattorney surrogacy or donor
facilitator” means a surrogacy or donor practitioner who
is not an attorney in good standing licensed to practice law in this
state.

(e) “Surrogacy or donor facilitator” means a person or
organization that engages in either of the following activities:
(1) Advertising for the purpose of soliciting parties to an
assisted reproduction agreement or for the donation of oocytes
for use by a person other than the provider of the oocytes, or
acting as an intermediary between the parties to an assisted
reproduction agreement. agreement or oocyte
donation.
(2) Charging a fee or other valuable consideration for services
rendered relating to an assisted reproduction agreement.
agreement or oocyte donation.

(f) “Surrogate” means a woman who bears and carries a child for
another through medically assisted reproduction and pursuant to a
written agreement, as set forth in Sections 7606 and 7962. Within the
definition of surrogate are two different and distinct types:
(1) “Traditional surrogate” means a woman who agrees to gestate an
embryo, in which the woman is the gamete donor and the embryo was
created using the sperm of the intended father or a donor arranged by
the intended parent or parents.
(2) “Gestational carrier” means a woman who is not an intended
parent and who agrees to gestate an embryo that is genetically
unrelated to her pursuant to an assisted reproduction agreement.

(g) “Donor” means a woman who provides her oocytes for use by
another for the purpose of assisting the recipient of the oocytes in
having a child or children of her own.

SEC. 5. Section 7961 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7961. (a) A nonattorney surrogacy or donor facilitator
shall direct the client to deposit all client funds into either of
the following:
(1) An independent, bonded escrow depository maintained by a
licensed, independent, bonded escrow company.
(2) A trust account maintained by an attorney.

(b) For purposes of this section, a nonattorney surrogacy or
donor facilitator may not have a financial interest in any
escrow company holding client funds. A nonattorney surrogacy or
donor facilitator and any of its directors or employees shall
not be an agent of any escrow company holding client funds.

(c) Client funds may only be disbursed by the attorney or escrow
agent as set forth in the assisted reproduction agreement and fund
management agreement.

(d) This section shall not apply to funds that are both of the
following:
(1) Not provided for in the fund management agreement.
(2) Paid directly to a medical doctor for medical services or a
psychologist for psychological services.

We anticipate a vote on this new statute later this month and expect it to pass rather easily. If you operate a donor program, please feel free to contact us on how you can be compliant with this new law should it go in effect.

21st Century Infidelity: Wife Secretly Uses Ex-Boyfriend’s Sperm For IVF Baby

And some people thought Game of Thrones was fictional:

A woman conned her husband into thinking that he was the father of her son after undergoing IVF treatment using her ex-boyfriend’s sperm….

The husband (who can’t be named so let’s call him Mr H) has said that in 2004, he and his wife (Mrs W) “travelled to a clinic in Barcelona, Spain, where he gave a sample of his sperm”. Mr H says that a few months later Mrs W went back to the clinic and “was impregnated with her ex-boyfriends sperm instead”.

Oh wow that’s an awkward thing to come clean about.

The baby was born in 2005, and when six months old, Mr H and Mrs W separated and divorced. Mr H continued to pay child support over the years, amounting to over £80 000.

It all came to light in 2011 when Mr H said he wasn’t seeing his son enough. Mrs W then told him he was not the child’s biological father.

Gents, how would you feel about this? Mr H is not happy, and is suing his ex for “more than £100 000 in damages”, using ‘deceit’ as the basis for the argument.

On a serious note, at the recent conference I attended, one of the physicians reported that misattributed paternity now accounts for 9-11% of all births in the United States. More on that statistic soon…..

Whittier Law School Assisted Reproduction Symposium

Designed for attorneys and people attempting pregnancy through ART, this one-day symposium explores Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) from many angles including legal, medical, ethical, and international viewpoints. World-renowned experts from various fields will be sharing recent innovations and insights they have gleaned from the field. Please click the image below for more information or for registration information.
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A Lawyer’s Take On The Elton John / David Furnish Call For A Boycott of Dolce & Gabbana

Our very own, Corlandos Scott, gives his own unique and entertaining perspective on the fallout from Dolce & Gabbana’s controversial comments about IVF and same-sex parenting:

**** Editor’s Note: The views in this video are those of Mr. Scott’s alone and not necessarily representative of Vorzimer Masserman, P.C. nor at the request or direction of any of its clients.

Fetus Cut from Womb When Woman Answers Craigslist Ad

A tragic story from Colorado leaves a woman in the hospital, her baby cut and stolen from her womb. The baby did not survive the attack.

Police: Pregnant woman's baby cut from womb
 (CNN)Prosecutors are weighing whether to file a murder charge against a Colorado woman accused of stabbing a pregnant woman who answered a Craigslist ad and then cutting her fetus from the womb, authorities said Thursday.

The fetus died in the assault, but the mother survived and has a “very optimistic” prognosis, said Boulder County District Attorney Stanley L. Garnett.

For now, Dynel Lane, 34, a former nurse aide, is being held by authorities and won’t face formal charges until late next week at the earliest, Garnett said.

The grisly assault happened Wednesday after the seven-months-pregnant woman went to a home in Longmont to buy baby clothes. Lane had placed an ad on Craigslist offering the clothes for sale, police said.

Dynel Lane

Question of fetus living outside womb

The prosecutor described the difficulty in determining charges.

“The issue of whether or not murder charges are appropriate involving a case involving the death of a fetus or a late-term pregnancy is always a difficult issue,” Garnett said.

“Under Colorado law, essentially, there’s no way murder charges can be brought if it’s not established that the fetus lived as a child outside the body of the mother for some period of time. I don’t know the answer yet as to whether that can be established, what our facts are here,” Garnett said.

That information will be a key part of the investigation, Garnett said.

Dozens of officers are working the case and awaiting medical information from an autopsy, Garnett added.

The definition of “lived as a child” is difficult, too, and whether that means one breath or one hour, Garnett said.

“The Supreme Court and the court of appeals will get to tell us that eventually. The law is not, as in many areas, terribly clear in terms of that,” Garnett said.

A case unlike any other

When asked about a report that the suspect may have earlier been pregnant and lost a baby, Garnett said he couldn’t comment on that account.

“I can tell you we’re looking very thoroughly at Ms. Lane’s history, and the police are investigating every aspect,” Garnett said.

Garnett added he’s never seen such a case in his 32 years practicing law.

“I’ve never quite seen this fact pattern before, but I’ve seen a lot of fact patterns,” he said.

Expired license for nurse aide

Lane was arrested on accusations of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and child abuse knowingly/recklessly resulting in death, Longmont Police Cmdr. Jeff Satur said.

It’s expected that bond will be set at Lane’s first court appearance, scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Boulder County Jail, he said.

Lane was a certified nurse aide starting July 1, 2010, and her license expired on January 31, 2012, with no history of discipline or board actions, according to records with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. At that time, she resided in Pueblo, Colorado, the records showed.

Cry for help

In the Craigslist-related incident, authorities responding to a call heard a woman inside a home screaming for help, Satur said.

When officers entered the home, they found the 26-year-old woman with stab wounds in the abdomen. She told them her fetus was cut out of her womb, authorities said. The victim was seven months pregnant, CNN affiliate KMGHreported, citing police.

“She was assaulted and stabbed, and her baby was removed,” Satur said.

The victim was transported to Longmont United Hospital, where she had surgery.

“She is alert, answering questions and is with family,” Satur said.

Police said the suspect arrived at the hospital with the fetus at the same time as the victim, claiming a miscarriage.

The name of the victim has not been released, but police said she did not know her attacker. Detectives are searching the home of the suspect.

Longmont police are asking anyone who may have responded to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes, posted by “D” or “Dynel,” or perhaps traveled to her home on Green Place in Longmont, to call (303) 651-8523.

A growing number of police stations have started offering “safe zones” for online sellers and buyers to conduct their transactions after recent deaths linked to the classified ads website.

In January, Elrey “Bud” Runion and his wife, June, were killed in Georgia when they went to look at a vintage car they had asked to purchase through an ad on Craigslist. The man who apparently responded to their ad, claiming to have a car to sell, has been charged with murder.

Christian Couple Unwilling to Destroy Frozen Embryos

A Virginia couple unwilling to destroy their frozen embryos that went unused following fertility treatments chose to adopt them out to a like-minded family suffering from similar woes.

Rebecca and Chris Henderson of Hampton were blessed with two sets of twins with the help of in vitro fertilization–they also had 11 unused frozen embryos carrying their DNA.

Since they believe life begins at conception, simply getting rid of the embryos was out of the question.

Sharing the git of parenthood: Dan and Kelli Gassman adopted frozen embryos from a family across the country who had 11 left over following successful IVF who did not want to destroy them

Cue Dan and Kelli Gassman across the country in Salem, Oregon–another Christian couple desperate to be parents.

The Gassmans had wanted an embryo and the Hendersons had too many. Soon after Rebecca Henderson became pregnant with a third child–this one an unassisted ‘miracle baby’– she and her husband signed away the 11 frozen embryos to the Gassmans.

‘We have been blessed with three when we didn’t think we’d have one, so, what kind of awesome thing is it to bless another couple and let them experience the same kind of joy we did?’ Becky Henderson told USA Today.

After the Hendersons had identical twins Abigail and Rachele, they paid a few hundred dollars per year to store the 11 leftover embryos.

Once they were blessed with an unexpected third child conceived naturally five years later, they decided three was enough.

There are two major embryo ‘adoption’ agencies, Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program out of California and the National Embryo Donation Center of Tennessee.

Both groups cater largely to people like the Gassmans and Henderson whose decision to ‘adopt’ an embryo is faith-based.

The Hendersons’ twins are now 8 and have met the eldest Gassman kid, Trevor. The two families exchange photos on Facebook and the kids even spend time together on Skype.

Meanwhile, having been blessed with the two children they always wanted, the Gassmans have actually returned the remaining embryos to the Hendersons.

The Hendersons, in turn, have identified yet another family with whom they can share the joys of parenthood.

The Gassmans' two children have a relationship with the Henderson twins via Skype and Facebook and the couple even gave back the remaining embryos, which the Hendersons plan to 'adopt' out to another Christian couple

The Gassmans’ two children have a relationship with the Henderson twins via Skype and Facebook and the couple even gave back the remaining embryos, which the Hendersons plan to ‘adopt’ out to another Christian couple

Sherri Shepherd & Lamar Sally in Court Over Surrogate Born Baby

 

A Pennsylvania judge is set to make a final decision Wednesday on whether Sherri Shepherd is the legal mother of a 7-month-old baby born via surrogate last August.

“We believe it’s in this child’s best interest to have two legal parents, and those parents are the people who brought about his conception, Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Sally’s lawyer, Tiffany Palmer, tells PEOPLE.

The former The View host, 47, has been battling her ex-husband over financial responsibility for Lamar Sally Jr. since the Los Angeles-based scriptwriter claimed the pair had agreed to pursue surrogacy using his sperm and a donor egg after doctors discovered Shepherd’s eggs were not viable.

“[Sherri] said, ‘I will love the baby like it’s mine,’ ” Sally. says. “She signed all the paperwork except for the birth order, a legal document that states who the intended parents are.”

While Sally has been caring for the baby since his birth, it’s up to the judge to decide if Shepherd, the gestational carrier or the anonymous egg donor is the legal mother.

“We are confident that once the court hears all the witness testimony and legal arguments the court will make a decision that is in the best interest of this child,” Palmer says.

How a Father Became the Brother of His Own Son

Modern medical advances are changing the very nature of family – but at what cost?

A mother has helped her 24-year-old son become a father by carrying his child as a surrogate. In the procedure, the first of its kind, Anne-Marie Casson, 46, became pregnant using a donor egg fertilised by her son Kyle’s sperm.

Kyle, gay and single, had wanted to be a father “for some considerable time”. After surrogacy clinics across the country turned him away, and a female relative who had volunteered to be the carrier developed medical difficulties, Mrs Casson and her husband, Alan, decided she should step in and be the surrogate mother. A family court judge ruled the situation was “entirely lawful” and Kyle has been allowed to adopt the baby – his son but also, legally, his brother.

Lawyers point out that family members are increasingly acting as surrogates in the UK, but the Cassons’ case is unique: Kyle is the first single man in the country to have a child through surrogacy and the first to use his mother as the carrier. “I cried and cried,” said Kyle, describing his happiness at his son Miles’s birth. “I could not believe it.”

Kyle’s longing to be a father highlights issues affecting gay men and women – but also the one in six heterosexual couples in Britain who have problems conceiving. They will know first-hand the plight of a young person desperate to be a parent. Baby hunger turns a stroll in the park into a torment because of the mummies and daddies pushing their toddlers on swings. It makes dinner-party conversation about good schools painful, and the school-run traffic bitter as well as frustrating. At its worst, baby hunger sours friendships and destroys marriages.

Medical advances have delivered many of these would-be parents from their misery. Andrew Solomon, award-winning author of Far From the Tree, a book about conventional and unconventional families, tells me how, as a young gay man, he was “riven by my agony at having to choose between my integrity and the urgent wish for children that surpassed almost every other desire for me”.

He and his partner, John Habich, had their son George with donor eggs via a surrogate mother, Laura, a friend of Habich’s and one half of a lesbian couple whose own two-child family Habich enabled by donating sperm to them.

Solomon, meanwhile, had donated sperm to father a daughter, via in-vitro fertilisation, with his best friend, Blaine, who is bringing the child up with her (male) partner in Texas.

“That I lived through the changes that gave me my family feels nothing short of miraculous,” he says. “There are too many unwanted children in Western societies and too few who are longed for, and those children formed not by accident but by deep and careful intent are likely to be among the best-loved in the world.”

Solomon sees surrogacy as proof of progress: we have developed into a more just and caring society that helps anyone who longs to be a parent become one.

“I was born to the lie that gay people couldn’t have children,” he says, “and I am grateful every day that we live in a time when both social mores and medical advances have made it possible for me to have children.”

A procedure that allows the conception of much-loved children must be a good thing. Surely it is only humane to use any means possible to help men and women, gay and straight, conceive?

Yes – and yet…

The Cassons’ case has ignited huge controversy: the procedure may have taken place in the sterile surroundings of an IVF lab, but the participants’ consanguinity raises the spectre of one of the few remaining taboos – incest.

Twitter reaction to the story ranged from “nothing wrong with this” to “gross”, “disgusting” and “selfish”.

Robert Flello, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, spoke of his “many concerns and worries” about the case.

Jill Kirby, social policy analyst, finds it “very disturbing that any mother would consider it healthy or appropriate to give birth to her son’s child. What is even more worrying is that the High Court has granted the son an adoption order, partly based on the ‘closeness’ of the relationship between the family members involved.”

Mrs Casson countered these attacks by pointing out that Miles, the baby she conceived using Kyle’s sperm, ‘is not biologically tied to me, other than he’s my grandson. I love being a parent and for Kyle to experience that. I would do this for him.” She and Kyle have said that friends have been overwhelmingly supportive.

Surrogacy cases have increased dramatically over the past few years – in 2012, 167 babies were registered in Britain as born to a surrogate parent.

This marks a huge increase from 2007, when only 47 parental orders were filed to register a baby born through surrogacy, according to figures from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

The upward trend is continuing: in the first month of last year alone, 24 babies were registered to British parents after a surrogacy. Celebrities from Elton John to Nicole Kidman have turned to surrogacy to have their children, and, in the process, turned the intervention into an acceptable lifestyle choice.

And Mary Portas, the retail consultant whose Secret Shopper programme is broadcast on Channel 4, made headlines recently when Melanie Rickey, her wife, conceived a son from Mary’s brother’s sperm.

Lawyer Natalie Gamble, whose firm was involved in the Cassons’ case, explains that surrogacy using close family members has become commonplace.

“We have seen many instances where sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, help one another out in this fashion,” she says.

“It is difficult to speak of precise numbers, but UK law, which does not permit advertising for a surrogate or for a surrogate to offer her services, is pushing couples to look among family members for surrogacy.”

Many childless couples seek help abroad: India, Georgia, Russia, Thailand, the Ukraine, and a few states in the US allow women to be paid to carry another’s child through IVF and embryo transfer.

But international surrogacy raises ethical questions of its own, as shown by the recent case of Gammy, a baby with Down’s syndrome born to a Thai surrogate and allegedly left behind by the intended Australian parents.

For Natalie Gamble the only issue raised by the Cassons’ case is a legal one.

“UK law does not allow singles, like the son [Kyle] in this case, to apply for a parental order, or birth certificate; so the young man had to apply for an adoption order instead.”

Gamble is campaigning to change the law, which she feels condemns children to forfeit “a UK birth certificate which reflects their true parentage, and instead must either become adopted children, or live in limbo without resolved legal status”.

But the Cassons’ case raises more than legal concerns; it raises profound ethical questions too. In a world where anyone can conceive, the family will become a notion so confused that children will struggle to understand the crucial relationships most of us can take for granted. Kinship will become a loose term embracing well-paid strangers and well-meaning relatives.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was founded in 1991 to safeguard from such muddles.

Its remit is to ensure that reproductive procedures are ethical and in the best interests of the child. But critics have repeatedly questioned its ability to oversee what goes on in the 77 licensed clinics in the UK.

The chair of the authority, Sally Cheshire, is a former accountant who previously chaired the Audit and Governance Committee and Licence Committees. Her 13 members of the Board include lawyers, medics, and women who have “relevant personal experience in infertility and unsuccessful treatment”. The make-up of the Board prompted one lawyer to conclude that “the HFEA focuses on facilitating successful infertility treatments rather than monitoring it”.

Beyond the HFEA offices, IVF labs and the tabloid headlines, surrogacy unsettles our notion of family ties – motherhood in particular. By incentivising successful pregnancy, commercial surrogacy raises the prospect of a rent-a-womb industry spreading across the globe, involving young women who seek short-term motherhood for financial gain. Real, lifelong mothering, which engages with children as cherished beings rather than commercial assets, no longer fits in the marketplace of surrogate mummies.

But even when money is not involved, surrogacy raises concerns. Policy-makers, politicians, psychologists agree that the family is the building block of a flourishing society: it provides children with their first experience of identity and security, and their first lessons in right and wrong.

Our traditional notion of ‘the family’ has been stretched to include cohabitation, divorce, step-parents and step children, and gay marriage. Can it stretch further to encompass surrogacy cases where a mother and son have a baby together? Or does this endless manipulation in fact leave the family unit hollowed out, a meaningless husk rather than an inspiring template for all?

Mrs Justice Theis, the judge in the Cassons’ surrogacy case, claimed the close relationship between the family members involved had proved a “critical feature” of the case.

A report described how baby Miles, now eight months old, “clearly has formulated a secure attachment to the father”, adding: “The father understands that the child will need to know about how he was conceived and feels that he will utilise the security of the family structure to support his son in understanding that he is a very much wanted child.”

For some, this is enough.

“High tech interventions in reproduction are not necessarily antithetical to the forging of stable, loving relations” claims Fergus Greer, a psychologist specialising in the family.

“As long as the child bonds with its primary carer, feels secure and loved, it will do well, no matter how unconventional its conception. If Kyle and Anne Marie can create this loving home for Miles, he will be able to cope with the revelation of his unusual origins.”

The Cassons’ case has set a precedent. More and more unconventional conceptions, like Kyle’s with his mother, will ensue, allowing would-be parents to realise their dreams. Andrew Solomon welcomes this development: “Why should making children be reserved to two people, and closed to those who for one reason or another are not adequately fertile to procreate?”

Kyle Casson agrees: “I did not choose to be gay. I was born that way. I was born unable to have kids. Being a dad was a high priority in my life and now I have done it.”

A new life beckons for the Casson family. A new era dawns for the rest of us, too. Infertility, sexual proclivity, marital status: social mores and medical advances have removed every barrier to conceiving.

A new generation, who did not choose to be surrogate babies, will decide at what cost we have satisfied our baby hunger.

 

Dolce & Gabbana Are Hypocrites!

After comments surfaced from Dolce & Gabbana regarding the “synthetic” nature children born thorough IVF, it is revealed that Stefano Gabbanna asked a friend to carry his baby, thus shedding light on the hypocrisy of their archaic statement against families who have had children through IVF.

In 2006, Stefano Gabbana asked a female friend to carry his child via artificial insemination, saying, ‘My dream is to have a baby.’

But in a new interview published this month, the fashion stars dismissed children born via IVF as ‘synthetic babies’, sparking a row with Sir Elton John and leading campaigners to accuse them of ‘double standards’.

Anger: Designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce, right, have caused a row with their comments on IVF children.

Anger: Designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce, right, have caused a row with their comments on IVF children.

Boycott: Sir Elton John, pictured with his husband David Furnish and their children Elijah and Zachary, has spoken out against the designers

Elton John and David Furnish are ‘daddy’ and ‘papa’ to their boys.

Mr Gabbana told an Italian newspaper in 2006, shortly after he split up with Domenico Dolce: ‘My dream is to have a baby, not to adopt one because I am not up to it and I don’t feel strong enough.

‘I want my own child, a biological child, the fruit of my sperm, conceived through artificial insemination because it wouldn’t make sense for me to make love to a woman I don’t love.

‘A week ago I asked a dear friend of mine, who is twelve years younger than me, if she would help. I asked her, “Would you like to be the mother of my child?” She was left a bit shocked and the following day telephoned and said she was still shocked, but thought it was a great idea.

The previous year, Dolce and Gabbana were pictured together on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Italian edition surrounded by young children, with the headline: ‘The desire to become parents’.

In that interview, Mr Dolce said that he wanted an ‘entire football team’ of children, but added: ‘In life I have had everything it is possible to have but I have the small handicap of being gay so having a child is not possible for me. I could adopt or get one from abroad but I’m paralysed by the fear that the child could feel exploited.’

But in their latest interview the pair were scathing about non-traditional families, provoking the ire of Sir Elton.

Interview: The pair made their inflammatory remarks for an article in an Italian magazine this month

Interview: The pair made their inflammatory remarks for an article in an Italian magazine this month

Mr Dolce told Italian magazine Panorama that procreation ‘should be an act of love’, adding: ‘You are born and you have a father and mother. At least it should be like that. That’s why I’m not convinced by what I call chemical children, synthetic babies.

‘They are wombs for hire, semen chosen from a catalogue. And then you have to explain to these children who their mother is.’

Asked whether he wanted to be a father, Mr Dolce said: ‘I am gay. I cannot have a child. I don’t believe that you can have everything in life.’ Mr Gabbana said, ‘I would have a child right away,’ but added: ‘The family is not a fad. It is a supernatural sense of belonging.’

Mr Dolce continued: ‘The only family is a traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented uterus – life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.’

Sir Elton, who has two children with his husband David Furnish, yesterday posted a picture of the designers on photo sharing website Instagram writing: ‘How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”.

‘And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.

‘Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.’

'How dare you': Sir Elton posted a photo of design duo Dolce & Gabbana on his Instagram page and responded to their comments in a strongly-worded attack

‘How dare you': Sir Elton posted a photo of design duo Dolce & Gabbana on his Instagram page and responded to their comments in a strongly-worded attack

Hitting back: Stefano Gabbana asked, 'Who wants to see him dressed in Dolce & Gabbana?'Hitting back: Stefano Gabbana asked, ‘Who wants to see him dressed in Dolce & Gabbana?’

Veteran equality campaigner Peter Tatchell is now planning a protest outside the designers’ flagship store in central London on Thursday after accusing the pair of ‘double standards’ for their views.

He told MailOnline today: ‘It is hypocritical for Stefano Gabanna to oppose gay parents, given that in 2006 he expressed a desire to have a child via artificial insemination and surrogacy. He’s guilty of double standards. Gabanna wanted what he now condemns other gay men for wanting.

‘These comments are not only an attack on same-sex parents but on all parents who’ve had children with the aid of fertility treatment.

‘Dolce and Gabanna are echoing ill-informed, outdated and homophobic prejudices about gay parents. Research spanning 40 years shows that children brought up by gay parents are just as happy and well-adjusted as those from traditional heterosexual families.

‘Dolce and Gabanna are entitled to their views but we are entitled to protest against them. We urge everyone – gay and straight – to boycott their clothes. It’s intolerable for these designers to make millions out of the gay community and then turn around and insult our families. They’ve stabbed us in the back.’

‘How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”.

‘And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.

‘Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions.

‘I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana’

Primary school teacher Kathryn Bold, 32, who had a son using IVF after she and her husband tried for five years to conceive naturally, said it was a ‘a bit hypocritical’ of the designers to speak out against procedures they had considered using themselves.

‘I was really offended,’ Mrs Bold, from Wigan, told MailOnline. ‘We’ve been through so much to have a baby – for someone to say that he’s a synthetic baby is really upsetting. He’s perfect, he’s no different to anyone else.

‘They can’t come out with a statement saying IVF babies are synthetic then try and get that treatment themselves. It’s a bit hypocritical really.’

Yesterday, the row escalated as Mr Gabbana posted a picture of Sir Elton on Instagram and wrote: ‘Who wants to see him dressed in Dolce & Gabbana?’

He also shared an image of a mother and child, writing: ‘We live in a democratic country and respect for the ideas of others is essential.’

Dr Gillian Lockwood of the Midland Fertility Centre said she was ‘speechless’ at the Italians’ comments. She said: ‘If there’s anything more “synthetic” than Dolce and Gabbana I don’t know what it is.’

The sister of Louise Brown, the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, called their views ‘shocking’. Natalie Brown, 32, said: ‘They are small minded, pathetic little people.’

Yesterday equality group Stonewall also said it ‘strongly disputed’ the comments. Chief executive Ruth Hunt said: ‘Being a good parent has nothing to do with sexual orientation or whether a child has two mums or two dads. The important thing is a loving family, whatever its make-up.’

A string of prominent celebrities lined up to condemn the pair, many drawing on their own experiences as the parents of children born via IVF.

Ricky Martin, the gay singer whose twin sons were carried by a surrogate mother, wrote on Twitter: ‘Your voices are too powerful to be spreading too much hate. Wake up, it’s 2015. Love yourself guys.’

Ryan Murphy, the creator of TV show Glee, added: ‘These designers’ horrifying views are never in fashion. Their clothes are as ugly as their hate.’

Former tennis star Martina Navratilova, who married her female partner in December, wrote in support: ‘Wow – I had no idea. It will be interesting to see if this ridiculousness hurts them in the bank.’

Sir Elton posted on Instagram saying: 'Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions', pictured with his husband and their two sons 

Stars unite for Elton John and David Furnish’s Oscar party

Other parents whose children were born using IVF expressed fury at the suggestion that their families were unnatural.

British actress Alice Evans, who has two children with her husband Ioan Gruffudd, posted a photograph of her daughters Ella and Elsie with the message: ‘I’m sorry you feel the way you do. Here are my much loved synthetic kids.’

Susan Seenan of Infertility Network UK, which supports parents who are struggling to conceive and campaigns for access to fertility treatments, said that the comments were ‘totally out of touch with the majority’.

She told MailOnline: ‘Children born via IVF are amongst the most loved and wanted children, and suggesting that they are “synthetic” is not only cruel and hurtful, but shows a lack of understanding around this whole issue.’

But others supported the designers, with one Instagram user writing on Sir Elton’s account: ‘They just expressed their opinion.’

Mr Gabbana said in a statement last night: ‘We believe firmly in democracy and we think freedom of expression is essential for that.’

Mr Dolce added that his views were informed by his Roman Catholic upbringing in a traditional Sicilian family ‘made up of a mother, a father and children.’

He continued: ‘I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.’

Sir Elton married long-term partner David Furnish in December. Their sons Zachary and Elijah are four and two.

The singer’s previous spats include one with Madonna, whom he called a ‘fairground stripper’.

The billionaire fashion duo with an A-list clientele who were a couple for 23 years

Posh: Stefano Gabbana (centre) with supermodel Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana came from modest backgrounds to become two of the richest men in Italy.

Dolce, 56, was born near Palermo, Sicily, where his father was a tailor and his mother worked in a shop selling fabric and clothes.

He met Gabbana, 52 – who was born in Milan to a factory worker father and laundress mother – in a club in the early 1980s.

Dolce helped his friend find a job with him working for designer Giorgio Correggiari, and their friendship blossomed into a relationship.

They moved in together in 1983 and founded Dolce & Gabbana fashion house in 1985. Their big break then came in 1993 when Madonna signed them to design costumes for her Girlie tour – including her famous black beaded bra.

The pair ended their relationship after more than 20 years in 2005, admitting they had ‘been drifting apart for five years’.

But they remained business partners, with Gabbana describing his friend as ‘my family’ after the break-up.

They revealed in a 2010 interview that they lived in identical apartments one floor above the other in the same building in Milan.

They also own luxury homes in France and London, as well as hosting lavish parties on their yacht in Monaco.

In 2013 the businessmen joined Bloomberg’s prestigious Billionaires’ Index, with Dolce’s net worth estimated at $2.2billion (£1.5billion) and Gabbana’s at around $2.1billion.

They were also acquitted of tax evasion by Italy’s highest court in October last year, which overruled decisions by two lower courts to hand them a 20-month suspended sentence for failing to pay tax on around 200million euros (£142million).

They were accused of funnelling funds through a firm in Luxembourg, but following their acquittal issued a statement saying: ‘We have always been honest.’

Their brand remains a celebrity favourite and has been worn by A-listers including Kylie Minogue, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

CELEBRITY SAME-SEX COUPLES WITH CHILDREN VIA SURROGACY AND IVF

Sir Elton John and David Furnish 

Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish had two sons together, Zachary, four, and Elijah, twoSir Elton John and his husband David Furnish had two sons together, Zachary, four, and Elijah, two, with the help of a surrogate and artificial insemination.

They were both born to the same surrogate mother, but David Furnish has been named as the mother on the birth certificates of both children.

The couple have decided not reveal the name of their newborn’s biological mother.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka have four-year-old fraternal twins - Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girlThe How I Met your Mother actor and his partner David Burtka have four-year-old fraternal twins – Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl.

The process involved two embryos, one for each of them – and a surrogate who Burtka said was ‘more like the oven.’

Both men knew the surrogate, but the egg donor – who they found through a donation bank and thus were able to research her personal and medical history – was anonymous. Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris and his partner have both said they have ‘no interest’ in learning which twin is their biological child.

Matt Bomer and Simon Halls

White Collar actor Matt Bomer and his partner Simon Halls have three son, including a set of twins, all born via a surrogate mother

White Collar actor Matt Bomer and his partner Simon Halls have three son, including a set of twins, all born via a surrogate mother.

The actor Bomer publicly acknowledged that he was gay, in 2012 when he thanked Simon Halls and their children during his Steve Chase Humanitarian Award’s acceptance speech.

Ricky Martin

The singer has six-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino and he has revealed that he would love to have a little girl.

After his sons were born in 2008 via a surrogate he opened up about his sexuality.

He split in January last year from his longtime partner Carlos Gonzalez Abella.

Tom Ford and Richard Buckley
Fashion designer Tom Ford has a two-year-old son Alexander with his long-term partner Richard Buckley.

The baby is believed to have been born via a surrogate and the designer has affectionately described him as a ‘genius’.

The couple met when Ford was just 25 and Mr Buckley, the former Editor in Chief of Vogue Hommes International, was 38.

Mary Portas and Melanie Rickey Queen of Shops star Mary Portas revealed last month that the genetic father of her young son Horatio is in fact her brother, pictured with her civil partner Melanie Rickey

Queen of Shops star Mary Portas revealed last month that the genetic father of her young son Horatio is in fact her brother.

Miss Portas and her civil partner Melanie Rickey had previously kept their sperm donor’s identity anonymous.

Miss Rickey, 42, gave birth to the couple’s first child in 2012 following IVF treatment. They had desperately wanted Miss Portas, 54, to also have a genetic link to their child.

 Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni have a son Max together, pictured in 2011 

The couple split in 2003 and since then she has dated education activist Christine Marinoni.

Ms Marinoni have birth to the couple’s son Max in 2011, but they kept tight-lipped about the identity of the biological father.

 

 

Asides

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