celebrity baby names, Gaelic names, honouring, Indian names, Irish names, name combinations, name meaning, name popularity, nicknames, popular names, quintuplet sets, Sanskrit names, Scottish names, sibsets, unisex names
Yesterday Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong, and her partner Sophie Allouache, welcomed their first baby. This put me in mind of some of the other stories about gay parents that have been in the papers this year.
Rosemary Nolan and Melissa Keevers of Brisbane made the headlines several times, after they welcomed quintuplets on January 3. The babies were conceived without the help of IVF; Melissa was artificially inseminated using an anonymous American donor. Melissa is originally from Ireland, and met Rosemary while she was backpacking around Australia. Having five babies at once has obviously been hard work for both parents, but Melissa says her strong Catholic faith helps her cope. She believes that God chose them for this role. Rosemary and Melissa’s quins consist of two boys, named Noah (#4 in Queensland) and Charlie (#20 in Queensland), and three girls, named Eirann, Evie and Abby – Eireann seems a definite nod to Melissa’s origins. Rosemary and Melissa already had a daughter named Lily, who is 18 months older than the quins.
Surrogacy became a big issue in January, after Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban welcomed daughter Faith Margaret by surrogacy the previous month; British pop star Elton John and his partner David Furnish welcomed son Zachary Jackson Levon by surrogacy around the same time. That month there was an article on Mark and Allan Luciani-Crout, who live in the spa town of Daylesford in Victoria. They have a little girl who was carried by a surrogate mother in India. Mark and Allan’s daughter is named Rani – a Sanskrit name meaning “queen” which is intended to honour Rani’s Indian origins.
The same article mentioned Helen and Cath Mok, who have a six-year-old daughter named Maisie and a two-year-old son named Dougal. Maisie is a Scottish pet form of Margaret, and Dougal is an Anglicisation of a Gaelic name meaning “dark stranger”. A very Scottish sibset.
Other children mentioned in the article were Sam, Drew (girl), and James.
In late January there was an article about a single gay man called Stuart Gent raising his two and a half year old daughter alone. She was born in California to a surrogate mother, and now lives in Melbourne. Stuart tried to adopt, but found there was too much red tape, so he chose surrogacy instead. Stuart’s daughter is named Lucinda, nicknamed Lucy.
In May, we heard of Bentley and Matt Harris, who became the first parents to welcome a baby under Queensland’s new altruistic surrogacy laws. Bentley and Matt were thrilled with their son, but unfortunately the woman who was the surrogate mother deeply regrets her decision to give her child up, and wishes she had never done it. Sadly, it shows that surrogacy isn’t always a happy ending for everyone. Bentley and Matt’s son is named Connor (#21 in Queensland).
In October, the international press ran a story about a six-month-old baby who is the son of an Australian woman Jodie Auster, and her American partner Rachael Neumann. He was born in Melbourne, and although both women are on the birth certificate, it was a difficult, expensive and drawn-out process getting him American citizenship. Eventually it came through, and he is now the first dual-citizen child of a multinational gay couple. Jodie and Rachael’s son is named Miles Apollo Neumann Auster – a very handsome name combination. Being slightly facetious, I wonder if he was named Miles because of all the miles his parents travelled to be together?
Gay Dads Australia held a free surrogacy forum for gay men in Melbourne on November 5, and it was booked out within nine days. Spokesman Rodney Chiang-Cruise says that he believes there is a “gay daddy baby boom” happening in Victoria, and around the country in general. Rodney and his partner Jeff have a four-year-old son named Ethan.