Laurent Ghilain, Samuel and Peter Meurrens
A gay Belgian couple have finally been reunited with their surrogate child after two years of bureaucratic bungling.
Laurent Ghilain, 27, and Peter Meurrens, 37, were forced to leave behind their son, who was born in the Ukraine to a surrogate mother, because the Belgian government refused to issue a passport to the baby.
The government cited the lack of clear laws on surrogacy behind its actions and some officials were accused of homophobia.
Samuel Ghilain, who was born two years and three months ago, was placed in an orphanage in the city of Lviv after the couple ran out of money to pay a foster family.
The men even unsuccessfully attempted to smuggle the child out of the country which led to them being barred from the Ukraine.
Finally, last week, the Belgian Foreign Ministry issued Samuel with a passport after a court ruling in the married couple’s favour.
The toddler arrived at a Brussels airport on Saturday with his tearful fathers to an emotional reunion with happy relatives.
“It has been better than we thought to see him again after one year,” Meurrens told the Associated Press at the airport, adding that he felt “lots of joy and relief to him again.”
The family plan to live in a small town in Southern France.