A gay male couple who were the subject of an article of an article in last weekend’s Sunday Herald Sun about gender selection claims his privacy was breached and has been severely misrepresented.

The story, titled Gays ‘buy’ twins, claimed the couple travelled to the US to buy "designer twin boys" through a surrogate mother at a cost of up to $133,000. The article in the Melbourne paper also claimed the couple used gender selection to determine the sex of their children.

One of the men, who asked to remain anonymous, said the story was full of inaccuracies, which he says were well known to the journalist, Liam Houlihan.

“The article was done without our permission, they used our names when we explicitly told them not to, the information in it is very wrong – we do not have twins, we did not use gender selection and we are not Australian,” he said. “We also did not spend anywhere near that amount of money.”

The couple, like many other gay dads in Victoria, used a US-based clinic and a surrogate mother for both of their children, who are not twins.

Australian law does not allow commercial surrogacy.

They were originally asked for an interview via their US fertility clinic, but refused. They were then contacted by the Sunday Herald Sun. They were offered anonymity originally, but the couple say this offer was revoked by Houlihan, who told them there was “nothing you can do about it”.

“By naming us now, they Herald Sun has indirectly identified our kids, which we didn’t want to happen,” he said

The couple also say they were misquoted, and an apparent off-record comment one of the men made about the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s recent recommendations on assisted reproductive treatments and surrogacy was used out of context.

“He kept asking me questions ‘off the record’. One of those was ‘how do you feel about the Vic Law Reform Commission’s recommendations on IVF law. My quote was ‘I cannot comment on that because I am not qualified. This is not a gay issue it’s a reproductive rights issue for everyone.’ That is the quote he took and used it in the article saying that’s how I defended my decision to use gender selection. But we never used gender selection.”

The story was picked up by News Limited papers across the country. The couple say they had also been blocked by the moderator on the Herald Sun’s website from posting complaints about the story.

The couple are seeking advice to make a complaint to the Press Council.

Houlihan did not return phone calls.

Courtesy of bnews.

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