A free surrogacy forum for gay men to be held in Melbourne next month has booked out in record time.
Gay Dads Australia spokesman Rodney Chiang-Cruise said the sixth annual Gay Dads Surrogacy Forum to be held on November 5 was booked out within nine days, publicised largely by word-of-mouth.
“The demand is phenomenal, we never anticipated the level of interest,” Chiang-Cruise told the Star Observer.
“There is obviously a huge desire in the gay community for more information on how gay men can become dads.
“There is definitely a gay daddy baby boom happening in Victoria and around the country.”
Chiang-Cruise — who, with his partner Jeff, is the proud father of son Ethan — said he’s had to turn away at least 30 prospective dads because the forum venue is at capacity. Those who missed out are now on a waiting list.
“The last time we got about 80 people in two months. This time it’s been 80 people in nine days,” he said. “Fifteen of those are flying in from Queensland and NSW especially for the forum.”
The three-hour session will offer gay couples information on parenting options including Indian and US surrogacy.
Chiang-Cruise said due to the demand, it’s now likely Gay Dads Australia will run another session at the start of 2012.
“It’s really difficult turning people away,” he said. “Starting a family is really personal and people get very emotional.”
Chiang-Cruise said he believes the increasing information on the options for gay dads starting a family has sparked the interest.
“It’s like what [anecdotally] happened with the lesbian community 15 years ago, a bit of a baby boom,” he said.
Enquiries to the Gay Dads website also spike when surrogacy is mentioned in the media, particularly when mentioned on JOY94.9’s Andy and Adrian Show, Chiang-Cruise said.
JOY radio personality Adrian Perillo and his partner have twins via a surrogacy arrangement.