Gay man piled-on by trolls after sharing pics of his newborn baby: ‘There’s so much hate in the world’
A New Zealand man has been subject to horrific homophobic trolling online after he announced the birth of his son via surrogate.
Matthew Herbert shared photos on Twitter on Saturday (13 May) announcing the birth of his son Finn, saying, “he is just perfect”, and that “everyone is super happy and healthy”.
“Finn arrived literally into my hands with just four pushes at 3:03am on the 13 of May following 18 hours (!!!) of labour contractions,” he wrote.
“Finn has filled a hole in our hearts we didn’t even know existed”
Despite Herbert’s beautiful post celebrating the birth of his child, his post was viciously attacked by trolls, mostly due to his choice to have Finn through a surrogate, something which many people – straight, LGBTQ+, single, married – choose to do, including celebrities like Kim Kardashian.
“Oof. I had no idea surrogacy and adoption were so controversial before reading this … people need to mind their own,” a supportive commenter posted on Twitter.
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But many social media users with paid-for blue ticks attacked his post and his new role as a father.
“This baby needs a mother, not you”, “Who suffered the labour contractions?”, “Return that poor baby to the mother” and “This is wrong on so many levels” were just some of the comments left under his photos.
Hitting back at trolls, Herbert explained: “Reading the replies and unsolicited DMs has reminded me how much hate there is in this world, and how there are people who don’t want us and baby Finn to succeed in this world.
“Fear not, it’s all water off a duck’s back for us … but it won’t always be for Finn as he grows.
“Finn is surrounded by more love than could ever be measured.”
He added that he will be protecting the privacy of his baby’s birth mother, who will be a “huge part of our lives forever” and “chose us just as much as we chose her”.
Herbert pointed out to trolls who had attacked him choosing surrogacy, implying he had “purchased” his baby, that “commercial” surrogacy is illegal in New Zealand, therefore surrogates choose to carry the baby for altruistic reasons rather than being paid to do so.
In the UK, recommendations have been made for “major changes” to surrogacy law to make things easier for intended parents.
In a review commissioned by the government, the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission proposed a new pathway to legal parenthood that would mean intended parents have parental rights from birth.
Currently, intended parents must wait to obtain a court order in order to gain parental rights, which should take six weeks, but in reality can be much longer.
Under the proposals, intended parents would have those rights from birth – though the surrogate would be able to withdraw their consent and assert parental rights until six weeks after birth.
Father and surrogacy advocate Michael Johnson-Ellis “welcomed” the reforms, describing them as a “big win”.
“What it is doing is certainly providing equitable access to parenthood from birth, and that was something that obviously never existed previously,” Johnson-Ellis told PinkNews in March.
“The full report definitely shows more balance with between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual intended parents.”
Just as in New Zealand, paid-for surrogacy is illegal in the UK.
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