Brian Dowling Highlights Absurdity Of Surrogacy Law With Fact About Daughter's Birth Certificate

The Big Brother winner and his husband Arthur Gourounlian welcomed a baby girl last year.
Brian Dowling in 2016
Brian Dowling in 2016

Alongside Nadia Almada, Alison Hammond and the late Nikki Grahame, Brian Dowling would be one of the faces carved into the Big Brother Mount Rushmore.

The winner of both the second series of the game-changing reality show and Ultimate Big Brother in 2010, Brian has gone on to have a successful career in TV (including a stint at the helm of Channel 5′s Big Brother). He also recently started a family with his husband Arthur Gourounlian, with whom he shares a daughter, Blake Maria Rose, born last September.

“None of this would have been possible without our donor, a woman we have never met or even seen a picture of but has given us the gift of life,” Brian wrote on Instagram after his daughter’s birth.

He also paid tribute to his sister, Aoife, who was the couple’s surrogate, saying: “You are a saint to us and we will forever be grateful to you for the rest of our lives. Baby Blake can’t wait for her Aunty Aoife to spoil her.”

The couple documented their journey to parenthood in their 2022 documentary Very Modern Family, but writing for The Independent this week, Brian opened up even further about his and his husband’s road to parenthood.

“What people didn’t know at first was the surrogate was actually my sister,” he said.

Referencing surrogacy laws in both the UK and Ireland – which state that a surrogate is “automatically regarded as the child’s legal parent” – Brian revealed that, as a result, only one member of the couple is listed as Blake’s legal father.

“My sister is listed as Blake’s legal mother,” Brian added.

It’s bittersweet that, while his sister Aoife is recognised as his daughter’s mother, both he and his husband can’t legally be named as her parents – it has to be one or the other.

Here’s hoping things change so that couples like Brian and Arthur can be more recognised legally in their role as parents.


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