Brian Dowling and his husband Arthur Gourounlian have said they struggled raising a family in Ireland because of their sexuality.
The couple announced on Thursday that they are expecting their first child later this year and revealed that their surrogate is currently in her second trimester.
The Big Brother star said they were looking to friends and family for help who had already gone through the surrogacy process.
“I know we called some people in Ireland and they didn’t even do the call with us. I remember calling someone and they said, ‘No, we’re not doing that,’ because it’s two men,” he said.
“We were lucky that we went somewhere else and that was all amazing because I think as individuals you want to start and say if we’re healthy enough can we have kids?”
“But being shut down immediately just… because you’re in a same-sex relationship and you’re married and gay.”
The Dancing With The Stars judge added, “Without even advising us… as soon as you said gay, the word gay, it was very different.”
Mr Dowling said the couple had wanted to start a family since 2018. There are currently no laws in Ireland governing domestic or international surrogacy.
“I feel like people from our community are vulnerable when they travel to countries where things aren’t being done right and people are being taken advantage of,” he told Amy Huberman on Aldi’s Mamia & Me podcast.
“We are fortunate that we were guided to the right places. If you’re ostracized and told to leave, you’re not welcome, it drives people to take different paths that they might not choose.”
“But people want families and just because we’re gay, who decides, ‘Oh, you can’t have a family because we don’t do that here’? It’s just ridiculous.”
Mr Gourounlian said the couple had considered the idea of adopting in Ireland but it was “so difficult”.
Dowling said, “We had two conversations and then we didn’t because the hiring was the whole gay thing again.”
Mr Gourounlian said he was told in 2020 that “it will be very difficult, there are no children to adopt”.
“I got a little angry, not in a bad way, where it’s like I can save a child’s life, I’m here to give it my all and I can’t. I was very upset but it’s like no you can’t have it,” he said.
The couple shared the happy news in a video on Instagram on Thursday, writing, “It fills our hearts to announce later this year that we are pregnant and because of our beautiful bundle of joy.
“We actually never thought that this day would become a reality for us. We fully recognize and understand how fortunate and blessed we are that this is happening.
“For many of us out there, and especially people in our community, we need to fight harder and fight harder for what others think is something that can be easily achieved.
“Me and Arthur have been keeping the biggest secret over the last few months but it has put the biggest smiles on our hearts and faces.
“We can’t wait to meet you, hug you and love you for the rest of our lives, Baby Dowling Gourounlian is on the way guys.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/brian-dowling-our-battles-for-surrogacy-or-adoption-left-me-feeling-angry-41624862.html Brian Dowling: Our struggles over surrogacy or adoption infuriated me