Controversial statements regarding IVF and same-sex parenting have caused Sir Elton John to boycott fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana. In a recent interview with Italy’s Panorama magazine the designers, who are gay, were critical of children born through IVF to same sex couples, referring to them as “synthetic children” from a “rented uterus.”
When Sir Elton, who has two children born via IVF, read their remarks, he didn’t hesitate to share his feelings on Instagram, questioning how the designers could call beautiful children like his “synthetic.”
Offended by Dolce’s assertions that children should only be born to traditional families with a mother and a father, the singer has become the informal leader of a social media campaign to boycott the fashion house for their views. The #boycottdolcegabbana hashtag was trending on Twitter, with people worldwide criticising the designers and sharing photos of their children born via IVF.
Back in 2006, Gabbana admitted that he had spoken to a woman about the possibility of becoming the surrogate mother of his child, but reportedly struggled with the idea of a “gay family” and changed his mind. In recent years, the D&G label has placed greater emphasis on traditional families, with advertising campaigns featuring grandparents, pregnant women and young children.
In response to #boycottdolcegabbana, the designers have attempted to launch their own social campaign, but #boycotteltonjohn and #jesuisdolcegabbana have not been nearly as well received. Despite their bold statements and traditional values, Gabbana stated it wasn’t their intention to judge the choices of others, and claims to believe in love and freedom.
In England and Wales, same sex couples have been able to legally marry since 2014. Furthermore, changes to fertility laws have resulted in fertility treatments becoming available to same sex male or female couples, whether in a civil partnership or not, since April 2009.
From 1990 until these changes came into effect, same sex couples who could prove financial stability were eligible to raise a child born through fertility treatment; however, this rule discriminated against lesbian couples, as it stated the child needed a father. The Human Fertility and Embryology Act 2008 replaced this requirement with the need for a ‘second parent’. Same sex couples in the UK have been able to legally adopt children since 2002, if they can demonstrate an enduring family relationship.
If you are considering the use of fertility treatments or becoming same sex parents, speak to us to ensure you have any legal aspects covered. Please contact us or request a free consultation. You can also follow Giles Wilson LLP on Twitter and Facebook.