Why Ian Thorpe and his partner won’t have a baby in Australia but would in the US.

Ian Thorpe is an Australian household name.

The 36-year-old is a former Olympian and activist in the LGBTQI community, and in 2019 he’s also considering becoming a parent.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Thorpe said he and his partner since 2016 Ryan Channing, have discussed plans to have a surrogate baby.


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Bye #nz ????????

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“We’re talking about it and have for a while, but it’s still early days,” he said in the interview. “Yes, we decided to visit the clinic in LA — it’s all part of the plan at this stage.”

Despite both Thorpe and his 28-year-old formerly Perth based partner being Australian, the couple have explained that they have to have their baby in the US due to strict surrogacy laws in Australia.

“Unfortunately the laws in Australia are difficult for same sex males in regards to surrogacy – California state law has really progressed in this space which makes it the best option legally,” the former Olympian said.

“Something I would love to see progress further in Australia so same sex couples don’t have to trouble abroad to achieve their family goals,” the Olympic Gold medallist added.



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Cheering on “Wild Oats” at the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

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According to International Fertility Law Group, commercial surrogacy (where the surrogate receives compensation) is banned in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Altruistic surrogacy, where the surrogate is not paid, is legal within Australia.

After openly sharing that he is gay in 2014, Ian Thorpe has faced horrific homophobia.

Speaking with ABC’s Anh’s Brush With Fame in 2017, Thorpe detailed a time when he pecked his boyfriend in the back of a cab, and was told to get out.

“I pecked my boyfriend in the back of a car and I was told to show some respect. [The driver said] ‘That’s disgusting. I don’t want you in my car. You should get out.’!” he said on the show. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to be in your car. Drop me off here’.”

During the show, Thorpe also admitted he initially struggled talking to his family and friends about his sexuality, but after confiding in those closest to him he was ready to announce it on television.