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Watch: Fantastic Follow-Up on Gay Belgian Couple Reunited with Son Kept from Them for Years in the Ukraine


Here's a really good update on a story we were following earlier this year.

Laurent Ghilain and Peter Meurrens, a Belgian couple living in Southern France, had been separated from their son Samuel, whom they had through a surrogate, for two years and three months because the Belgian embassy in Kiev refused to issue Samuel a passport due to restrictive surrogacy laws and anti-gay officials in Belgium. Samuel had been living in a Ukrainian orphanage while they fought for his release.

Laurent and Peter were reunited with Samuel in late February. Samuel has been with them for four weeks at this point.

The dads say that the first few days he was home Samuel would put food in his pockets probably because he was used to not getting food for the rest of the day at the orphanage. He also spontaneously wet himself when a news crew from the Ukraine showed up and he heard their dialect.

Their son has a lot of adjustment to go through but it's apparent he's in great hands with Peter and Laurent.

Watch (English subtitles available - press CC), AFTER THE JUMP...

Video: Gay Belgian Couple Reunite with Son Stranded in Ukrainian Orphanage [tr]
Gay Belgian Couple Reunite with Son Stranded in Ukrainian Orphanage [tr]
Gay Belgian Couple to Reunite with Son After Homophobic Surrogacy Nightmare [tr]

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  1. What an awesome and inspiring story. Best of luck to all of them.

    Posted by: Brian | Mar 28, 2011 10:44:43 AM

  2. WOW heart wrenching all these anti-gay laws only hurt the children

    Posted by: paul ski | Mar 28, 2011 10:44:52 AM

  3. Laurent, Peter, and Samuel are going to get through this just fine. Samuel's parents were smart to start damage control as soon as he was in their arms. Using regimen and structure right alongside with love, patience, and attention, Samuel's road to recovery is assured. This child will grow up knowing what love is. As a parent myself, I just know this to be true.

    Posted by: Beau | Mar 28, 2011 11:23:33 AM

  4. Nothing like a happy cry first thing in the morning!

    Posted by: Ken | Mar 28, 2011 11:33:36 AM

  5. I don't even LIKE kids and I teared up over this .... very cool guys, these two.

    Posted by: JakeSFExPat | Mar 28, 2011 12:27:25 PM

  6. Aww. How great that this nightmare is over for them.

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 28, 2011 12:46:56 PM

  7. very powerful

    Posted by: Patrick M | Mar 28, 2011 12:54:14 PM

  8. That Belgian bureaucrat who denied their son a passport, forcing the infant to suffer with abandonment anxiety in an orphanage in his most crucial developmental years, should be prosecuted for child abuse, or at least be subject to a civil action. And should be fired. None of this will happen, of course, but it should.

    Posted by: Rick S. | Mar 28, 2011 1:16:11 PM

  9. First, it's Ukraine, not "the Ukraine"; second, what do you mean by "dialect" in this context? Otherwise, great story, thank you!

    Posted by: a Ukrainian in the US | Mar 28, 2011 1:17:27 PM

  10. Super sweet. Great family. Absurd they had to go through that.

    On a technical note, it's not the Ukraine anymore. Not for more than 20 years. Just Ukraine.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 28, 2011 1:23:36 PM

  11. Lovely! What a pleasant tonic for a gloomy Monday.

    Posted by: TimInHouston | Mar 28, 2011 2:25:22 PM

  12. I understand French so at least I got by but how did you guys understand flemmish? Or was it Ukrainian?

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 28, 2011 3:57:54 PM

  13. I was lectured many years ago as a kid that it's 'Ukraine' not 'The' Ukraine. 'The' signifies they [Ukraine] are just Russia's borderland.

    He wet himself upon hearing Ukrainian dialect spoken? How sad is that.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 28, 2011 4:46:50 PM

  14. The French-speaking dad is sooooo hot. I'm in love. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

    Posted by: Lou | Mar 28, 2011 6:47:40 PM

  15. What a bittersweet story. I'm so thrilled that Samuel has been rightly reunited with his parents. I'm just so incredibly saddened by the emotional and psychological damage done to all three during their period of unnecessary separation. I hope they continue to heal and grow together. Thanks for sharing Andy!

    Posted by: Lewis Payton | Mar 28, 2011 7:36:34 PM

  16. Gay Americans seriously have to visit Belgium and see what they're missing. Gay people are treated almost equal to everyone else. Sad that some Americans have to emigrate to other countries for a better life.

    Posted by: X | Mar 29, 2011 12:34:24 AM

  17. @Rowan: if you hit SS at the bottom of the screen, it provided English subtitles.

    @X: this story hardly makes Belgium sound like a wonderland. I understand that as an EU country it has better gay rights than the US, but the fact remains that this couple got screwed by the Belgian government (and without media attention, probably never would have gotten their son back) and are now living in France for whatever reason.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 29, 2011 12:44:41 AM

  18. Rowan: It's Flemmish. And there are subtitles.

    Others: Ukrainian isn't a "dialect", it's a language. It's close to Russian, because of the geographical proximity, but it's like saying Spanish is a dialect of Italian. It's not, they are two different languages.

    Posted by: James | Mar 29, 2011 2:15:21 AM

  19. In related news, you guys should feature this (blog) race against time, and honor "Gay Family Values" with your vote! It's become an amazing race in mere days:

    Posted by: El | Mar 30, 2011 11:18:29 AM

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