A same-sex couple who wanted to grow their family have detailed how a stranger offered to be a surrogate mother.

In March 2020 Christian Newman, 37, and Mark Edwards, 39, from Auckland, receive a random Instagram message from a woman they didn’t know but were thrilled with the gesture.

At the time the pair were the proud parents of three-year-old son Francis ‘Frankie’ Newman-Edwards who was conceived through IVF in mid-2018 after finding a surrogate mum on Facebook.

The message from mum-of-three Natalie Bullions read: ‘If you need another surrogate, call me. This boy needs a sibling.’

‘We couldn’t believe it. It was an amazing and surreal feeling,’ Christian told Daily Mail Australia.

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In March 2020 Christian Newman, 37, and Mark Edwards, 39, from Auckland, receive a random Instagram message from a woman they didn’t know who offered to be a surrogate mother (pictured now)

At the time the pair were the proud parents of three-year-old son Francis 'Frankie' Newman-Edwards. Mum-of-three Natalie Bullion (pictured, right) offered to be the surrogate mum and nine months later gave birth to their second child Luciana 'Lulu'

At the time the pair were the proud parents of three-year-old son Francis ‘Frankie’ Newman-Edwards. Mum-of-three Natalie Bullion (pictured, right) offered to be the surrogate mum and nine months later gave birth to their second child Luciana ‘Lulu’

Natalie explained how she was wanting to have her tubes tied and considered it her ‘last chance to have a baby’.

‘I may as well have a baby and help a family out at the same time,’ she wrote.

Flash forward and Luciana ‘Lulu’ was welcomed into the world in November 2021.

The process towards parenthood was difficult for the humble couple, as they had to pay up to $60,000 for the birth of Frankie and $30,000 for Lulu.

‘It was a long, frustrating process and we had to jump through so many hoops,’ Christian said.

'We couldn't believe it. It was an amazing and surreal feeling,' Christian told Daily Mail Australia

The process towards parenthood was difficult for the humble couple, as they had to pay up to $60,000 for the birth of Frankie and $30,000 for Lulu

‘We couldn’t believe it. It was an amazing and surreal feeling,’ Christian told Daily Mail Australia. The process towards parenthood was difficult for the humble couple, as they had to pay up to $60,000 for the birth of Frankie and $30,000 for Lulu

After the surrogate gives birth, she’s given 12 days to reconsider whether she wants to keep the baby or not.

Lulu is six months old but Christian and Mark are not yet her legal guardians even though Mark is her biological father.

The couple completed the adoption application which has been with the courts since December 2021. 

Feeling frustrated with the process, Christian has been campaigning to have the law in New Zealand changed for four years. 

Prior to turning to surrogacy, Christian and Mark considered adoption and needed to get married to be considered according to law at the time

Prior to turning to surrogacy, Christian and Mark considered adoption and needed to get married to be considered according to law at the time

Prior to turning to surrogacy, Christian and Mark considered adoption and needed to get married to be considered according to law at the time.

‘It felt a bit rushed and forced,’ Christian said recalling their wedding in April 2016. 

After deciding to go down the surrogacy route the couple started the Facebook page ‘Kiwi Daddies Looking for a Surrogate’ to connect with those who were interested in being involved.

‘At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make our situation public, but we had about 2000 people follow the page and received lots of messages of support,’ Christian said.

Over six months the couple researched into surrogacy for same-sex couples, which was a ‘massive learning curve’, and got in touch with several potential surrogate mums.

They eventually chose Aleisha Hart to be Frankie’s surrogate mum and spent a minimum of 12 months getting to know her.

Mark’s sister-in-law Alisa Herrera-Hayman was chosen to be the egg donor for both children. 

What are the surrogacy laws in Australia? 

In Australia, the regulation of surrogacy is a matter for the states and territories

In New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria any person, regardless of sex, relationship status or sexual orientation can be an intended parent

In the other States and the ACT only heterosexual married or de facto couples, or single women, are eligible

You can expect the surrogacy in Australia will cost anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000

When the baby is born, the birth is registered in the state where the baby is born, with the surrogate and her partner listed as the baby’s parents on the Birth Certificate

After the birth, the Intended Parents can apply to the Court for a Parentage Order in the state where they live

Sources: Surrogacy Australia and Human Rights Law Centre

Mark's sister-in-law Alisa Herrera-Hayman was chosen to be the egg donor for both children

Mark’s sister-in-law Alisa Herrera-Hayman was chosen to be the egg donor for both children

Before Frankie was born the couple also started the Instagram page Love From Your Dads to share their story, which has more than 65,000 followers

Before Frankie was born the couple also started the Instagram page Love From Your Dads to share their story, which has more than 65,000 followers

Offering advice to other couples wanting to go through surrogacy, Christian said persistence is key.

‘It’s a long road, but it’s worth it,’ he said, adding: ‘Once you have your child and family, you forget about all of the paper work, money spent and politics involved’.

He added: ‘If anyone wants to have kids, there’s so many different avenues to consider now and it’s not something we were told we could do.

‘When I came out [as gay] the first thing I was told was ‘You can’t have kids now’.’

Christian designed the free to use website Love Makes a Family detailing how same-sex couples can start a family through surrogacy. 

Before Frankie was born the couple also started the Instagram page Love From Your Dads to share their story, which has more than 65,000 followers.





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