Gay couple stranded in Mexico with three surrogate babies as bills spiral
An Irishman stranded in Mexico with his partner has appealed for help to bring home their three new babies, born to surrogate mothers.
Nicky Leonard Beard (32) and his husband David Beard (41) celebrated the births of Lachlan, Kelly and Blake to two surrogate mothers in Mexico last month.
The couple live in Auckland, in David's native New Zealand, and are believed to be one of the last gay couples to use Mexican surrogates to give birth to their children, as the country has recently tightened its IVF laws.
Now the couple want to bring their children home from Villahermosa in Tabasco, Mexico. But their case became complicated after they claimed the Cancun adoption agency disappeared with the money they had paid over for medical bills, legal costs and surrogate care.
The couple are now calling on the New Zealand and Mexican governments to cut through the red tape and allow them to bring their new family home.
They contacted media in New Zealand highlight their difficult situation: "David, Nicky, Lachlan, Blake and Kelly simply want to come home to their family," they said in their appeal.
The three babies were born in an arrangement with their parents and an Argentinian egg donor.
It was claimed that the Mexican government had assured the Beards that they would be allowed take the children out of the country despite new rules clamping down on surrogacy, as the two surrogates were already pregnant when the laws were introduced.
David, a prominent lawyer and owner of an Auckland law firm, and Nicky have enlisted the help of a top family lawyer to help fight their case.
David said: "I'm always fighting for the underdog, I don't want to ask for help, it's always hard to reach out."
But, speaking about the unexpected bills the couple now face, he said: "We totally planned this out, but now it's going to cost us a fortune to get home."
They are also asking the New Zealand immigration minister to intervene to ensure the children are issued with New Zealand passports by the embassy in Mexico City, rather than having to wait for Mexican passports.
The New Zealand government says it is aware of the couple's case and has provided advice.
New Zealand family lawyer Debbie Dunbar said that there were hurdles involved in bringing babies back into the country.