The IVF children of Britain’s first gay dads have opened up about their luxury upbringing. The millionaire Drewitt-Barlows made history in 1999 when they brought home Saffron and her twin brother Aspen, who they’d fathered with a surrogate mum in California. 47-year-old Barrie and Tony, 52, have been together for 30 years and got married in 2014 as soon as they were legally able to do so. The twins are the oldest offspring of the gay British couple who pioneered the ‘double dad’ family – and have turned it into an eyewatering financial success.
16 years on, Tony and Barrie's eldest kids - Saffron and Aspen - reveal what it’s like to have been brought up in this very modern family.
Aspen, was given a £110,000 personalised Porsche and a custom-made Rolex for his sixteenth birthday while Saffron was treated to a £24,000 party for her sweet sixteen and her parents spent $1,100 on her dress for the occasion.
"Dad and Daddy have been incredible fathers. Dad and Daddy say their greatest achievement is having us and I’m proud of them as it wasn’t always easy, although they have shielded us from any negativity.
‘Dad’ and ‘Daddy’, as Tony and Barrie call themselves, have already produced a family of no fewer than five surrogates themselves – but with the children have come extraordinary questions that no previous generation has ever faced.
Just 16, they are now free to speak about a family created by a complex consortium of donors and surrogates – and an upbringing as strange in its conception as it is outrageous in its opulence.
‘I have felt loved and that’s what is important,’ says Aspen. ‘Dad and Daddy have been incredible fathers. Dad and Daddy say their greatest achievement is having us and I’m proud of them as it wasn’t always easy, although they have shielded us from any negativity.
‘Like all parents they can also be a bit embarrassing at times. Daddy is very flamboyant. During school sports days he starts screaming and shouting, making himself the centre of attention. He’s just so gay all the time. Sometimes it makes me cringe but I love him for it too.’Aspen adds:
‘I love having two dads and I don’t think I’ve missed out not having a mum’. ‘I’ve always known who my biological mother is and I’ve got a good relationship with her as well. I’m thankful for what she did. ‘I know Dad and Daddy were trailblazers as two dads who wanted to have a family, but these days I don’t think there’s any such thing as a conventional family any more.’His sister Saffron adds:
‘Daddy is the one I turn to when I need advice. I share everything with him, he’s an amazing listener. That said, both Dad and Daddy can be really strict and they both vet my boyfriends.’Neither Aspen nor Saffron is gay. Saffron continues
‘Daddy can be so embarrassing when he gives them a grilling and tells them to behave themselves.'
‘Although Aspen is worse! He tells me who he thinks would make a good boyfriend, but I’m holding out for Justin Bieber.
‘There are so many dads having families it is now just normal. I don’t think any of us understand just how hard it was for Dad and Daddy when they began but I’m proud of them for proving the doubters wrong and being such good role models for us.’The twins aren't great scholars, they gained modest C-grades in the majority of their GCSE exams.
‘And we’ve just spent £500,000 on their education,’ observes Barrie, drily, clearly feeling short changed.The twins have decided to take a year off school.
‘What are you going to do?’ Barrie asks them. ‘Have fun,’ shrugs Aspen. ‘Shop,’ says Saffron.One twin was fathered by Tony, the other by Barrie.
They were grown by the same surrogate as Orlando but using eggs donated by a Brazilian model.
Barrie is the family spokesperson and also the parent who clucks around the family like a mother hen. His word is law in the household while Tony is the quieter, more measured of the parents. Both are warm, doting and tactile.
They have just moved house, swapping Essex for a new £2.1 million cream and white porticoed mansion in Princeton, New Jersey, with 15 acres of gardens, swimming pool and boating lake.
Barrie and Tony, who have an estimated £38 million fortune, admit they moved because they felt like some people objected to their ostentatious lifestyle and faced threats and harassment.
Source: Daily Mail