Britain's Pioneering 'Gay Dads' Now Hope to be 'Throuple Dads'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday December 19, 2021
Originally published on December 13, 2021

Gay dads Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, plus Barrie's fiancé Scott, are expecting triplets — and all three want to be listed as the fathers, making them "throuple dads," UK newspaper The Sun reported.

In 1999, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and then-partner Tony made history when they became the first gay couple to appear as parents on the birth certificates of surrogate twins Saffron and Aspen. A son, Orlando, followed, and again both dads were listed on the birth certificate. In all, Drewitt-Barlow and Tony had five children.

Barrie, now 50, is engaged to Scott Hutchinson, 25 — formerly the boyfriend of daughter Saffron — and the two have a child of their own, a 15-month-old daughter named Valentina, The Sun noted. The three men and their children all share a mansion in Florida.

The family is about to get larger: Barrie and Hutchinson are expecting triplets to be born to them via surrogacy — and so is Tony; all three men donated sperm to the surrogate, according to UK newspaper the Mirror.

What's more, all three wish to be listed as fathers on the birth certificates of the new arrivals.

If that comes to pass, it would break new ground in British family law. The pregnancy is already notable for having notched up a bill in excess of £1million (more than 1,300,000 in U.S. dollars).

"Two of the embryos, which have been kept on ice for 22 years, are the offspring of Barrie and Tony and form part of a clutch which led to the births of their three eldest children: Saffron, 22, Aspen, 22, and brother Orlando, 17," the Mirror detailed.

"The third embryo is the biological twin of Barrie and Scott's daughter, 15-month-old Valentina. It is from a batch — also frozen — created in 2019."

But more significant than the medical details are the legal implications.

The Mirror recalled that Barrie and Tony "became Europe's first same-sex couple to use a surrogate" in 1999, and that they then "went to court to be allowed to have same-sex parents on the birth certificates as 'parent one' and 'parent two' instead of "mother and father."

"It still makes me feel amazing that we did that," Barrie told the media. "I'm so wonderfully grateful that fight has been won."

But he and his co-parents are ready for another fight if that's what it takes to see all three names on the triplets' birth certificates, reports said.

Barrie vowed that "if I have three children we will have parent one, two and three and I will challenge the law again."

Barrie added: "This might sound crazy, but I am sure three people's names will also become the norm one day."

The Mirror recalled that there is a precedent already in place for three gay dads on a child's birth certificate. As previously reported at EDGE, a throuple in California managed that feat when a judge agreed to allow all of their names to be listed as fathers to their first child. The trio — Dr. Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield, and Jeremy Allen Hodges — went on to have a second child and publish a memoir earlier this year.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.