Gay couple to have children christened

A gay couple that made legal history when they were jointly registered as fathers were this weekend christening their fourth and fifth children.

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, of Danbury, Essex, said more than 150 people were due to attend a service for five-month-old twins Dallas and Jasper on Sunday.

The couple, both businessmen in their 40s, said the boys were born to a surrogate mother in California, USA, in February and would be christened at St John the Baptist Church in Danbury.

They said surrogate mother Rosalind Bellamy and the egg donor - "up and coming Russian supermodel" Alexandra Cooper-Strash - would be among guests.

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said he and his partner had "angered church groups over the years".

But he added: "It is important for us to have the children all christened. As a Christian family we feel that it is important for our children to be given the opportunity to follow the teachings of the church and if they decide when they are older not to, then that is their choice."

He said the couple's third child, seven-year-old Orlando, would also be christened at the service.

The couple first hit the headlines in 1999 when their twin daughters Aspen and Saffron, were born to a surrogate mother in California and, following a ruling by an American court, became the first British children to be registered as having two fathers and no mother.