Elton John slams Dolce & Gabbana for their ‘synthetic children’ comments


This ^^ is a photo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, also known as Dolce & Gabbana, the fashion designing team. They are both gay. And Dolce & Gabbana just gave an interview in which they seemed to come out against gay marriage, gay adoptions and gay couples using surrogates. It’s a gay-on-gay hate crime! So, obviously, the godfather of all things LGBTQ, Elton John, has something to say about it: boycott Dolce & Gabbana for being anti-gay-family.

Elton John, who shares two children with his husband, is fuming mad at Dolce & Gabbana’s Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana over comments they made about same-sex parents and babies conceived via artificial insemination. The top designers, who are also gay and were once a couple, had made their remarks to Italian magazine Panorama in an interview published last week.

“You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be,” Dolce said. “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog.”

“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,'” John wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. “And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children…Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.”

“I’m gay, I can not have a child,” Dolce told Panorama. “Life has its natural course, there are things that must not be changed. And one of these is the family.” Gabbana added that “the family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging,” according to the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph.

[From E! News]

If you go and read the E! News link, there’s further background about Dolce & Gabbana’s history of saying stuff about how they don’t believe children should have two gay parents, especially (it seems?) if we’re talking about two gay men, because they respect motherhood too much or something. It’s all sort of convoluted reasoning, like most bigotry against LGBT parents.

Here’s the thing: I can sort of understand why someone old-fashioned, old-world would have an opinion on gay couples becoming parents. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Dolce & Gabbana are jackasses, but I understand how a person could have that mentality. What I don’t understand is the slam against the “synthetic children.” Do people really think that children conceived via IVF or surrogacy are “different” than naturally-conceived children? And what about the heterosexual couples that use IVF or surrogacy? Are those children “synthetic” as well?


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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116 Responses to “Elton John slams Dolce & Gabbana for their ‘synthetic children’ comments”

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  1. LadyMTL says:

    Yeah, my mom (unfortunately) is of the “gay people shouldn’t have children because of reason xyz” persuasion, but even she doesn’t go as far as to claim that IVF babies are synthetic.

    I think both D&G need to shut their cake holes.

    • CB says:

      Elton John had the “African baby” comment so he has no room to judge. My gay male friends refer to the lesbian couple in our circle’s baby as a “Frankenbaby”. People say stuff. They also make fun of poorly dressed people, fat people, etc.

      Are we under the illusion that we can stop people from being catty in this world?

      Elton John is one of the worst about people and isn’t even as funny with his as Boy George so he needs to take his finger pointing and look back at the things he’s said about people like Madonna in the past and then wonder why karma is hitting him with this.

      • annaloo. says:

        Ah, we are on a gossip site, where you ask the most important humane question:

        “Are we under the illusion that we can stop people from being catty in this world?”

        Probably not, I feel. And I for one, am admittedly a little exhausted of expressing umbrage and disdain at averyone and everything that causes offense bc it NEVER SEEMS TO STOP.

        What D&G said was messed up, but after last week’s video of the young frat boys chanting that racist song, I asked myself if it was really possible to stop people from being jerks? Is it a Sisiphyean task? Is it just better to take the position of “sticks and stones” and ignoring these people?

      • FLORC says:

        Getting there myself.

        Elton isn’t banned from expressing his opinion and having it taken seriously because he said something offensive. His stance on this is correct. When someone says something correct do we take a step back and criticize the mouth it came from because other things were said? Can people not have moments of redemption?

      • Miffy says:

        Annaloo, no, it’ll never stop. But that doesn’t mean people should roll over and take it either. Sure, there are racists in the world, however bit by bit, one person who wouldn’t tolerate it conversationally after another, it has become socially unacceptable to be openly racist.
        You can’t stop others from being assholes and from seeking out other assholes but what you can do is say loud and proud that you’re not interested in their f*ckery. And bit by bit their nonsense fades to something mutable at least.

    • Dolce crema says:

      Hopefully the “synthetic” is a translation issue. I think everyone knows ivf babies need real sperm egg and womb so it makes so sense at all

    • alicegrey12 says:

      Dolce and Gabbana are idiots, and that is all I have to say .

  2. mia girl says:


  3. Amy says:

    Anytime you refer to an innocent child as ‘synthetic’ you are on the wrong side of everything.

    I don’t know if it’s self-hatred or just plain backwards ass thinking but they just torpedoed their brand.

    • Snazzy says:

      Ugh that’s what I thought too.
      People are people, no matter how they are conceived. Give me a break

    • Dani2 says:

      Agreed. I don’t understand how they don’t see what’s wrong with that statement in particular.

      • bella says:

        i wonder if what they or more accurately dolce intended to say was lost in translation…you know?
        i believe i understand what was meant…he does not agree with altering nature…
        the natural process of coming to be…
        i’m not saying i agree with him…
        but i respect his response to elton john…
        that he like all people is entitled to having his opinion.
        right or wrong, i agree.

    • Leona says:

      Actually this has been a long subject of discussion within the LGB advocacy movement. Theres a large component (of which D&G may be representative) that believe that gay people who aspire to parenting are conformists. That they are attempting to live the heterosexual norm and that this is a direct result heteronormative brainwashing. I know theres different degrees to how far different schools take this ideology. For some even the idea of marriage, which they argue serves no evolutionary purpose for two childless guys, is a foreign insertion into their culture in order to appease general society.

      I dont know if D&Gs point of view is driven by internalised self-hate or political ideology but I thought I should point this out.

      • Shambles says:

        I’d never thought about it that way, Leona. You make a very interesting point.

      • Courtney says:

        I’ve heard similar things from elder gays. Many feel like they fought for a different life and lifestyle than that of hetero breeders, and feel a little betrayed by this new generation.

      • bella says:

        ah, thank you for this information, leona.
        i hadn’t heard of this, but it makes sense.
        this is why i believe dolce’s words were lost in translation and i fully support his and everyone’s right to their own opinion.

      • Wren33 says:

        Yes, but that is very different from what they are saying. At least here, they are not arguing that gay marriage and children is conformist, they are saying it is plain wrong for children to be born through IVF.

      • Dolce crema says:

        I like your comment and I like when celebs say something different than the status quo neutral stuff most of them say which means pretty much nothing. Obviously these guys are deep thinkers, and I respect that even if I disagree with their idea

      • paola says:

        I am Italian and I’ve read the original interview. I don’t think it’s a ‘lost in translation’ situation but maybe with the word ‘synthetic’ they meant ‘not coming from an act of love’ therefore it means sterile and robotic.
        They both come from very traditional families, especially Domenico Dolce. He comes from a very traditional Sicilian family and he thinks he knows his limits as a gay person.
        I have my own opinion about ivf.. What I don’t really get though is why many gay couple never consider adoption. It seems like a very selfish thing to do to create a new human being genetically linked to only 1 of the 2 partners when they could save so many children in need. I’m sure with their resources and connections they could have adopted a newborn baby.
        If you can’t have children and you can only pass the 50% of the couple’s dna.. Why not adopt? It seems really selfish to me.

      • Angel says:

        @paola Elton and David did try to adopt earlier (they had met the little boy many times) and it fell through because the country they were adopting from had negative ideas about gay men adopting. I think the surroget was a way of getting around some peoples anti-gay laws/ideas, doesn’t seem to be about genetics at all.
        I do have a problem with your “Why not adopt? It seems really selfish to me.” Am I selfish because I had my own children and didn’t save a child that needed to be adopted? Are any of us? Having children is about making families, however you get there, whatever makes sense or works for you. End.

      • bettyrose says:

        At the risk of being slammed, I have a problem with surrogacy . I have an issue with wombs as a commodity. If discriminatory laws prevent gay adoptions, therein lies the battle. Further co-opting women’s bodies is not the answer. Furthermore, the world needs more adoptive parents. Babies across the developing world live in orphanages or get sold into slavery while the first world rents out uteruses. And yes I feel the same about straight couples. I have spoken out on this issue in my personal life, so my opinions are unrelated to the D & G statement.

      • Lee1 says:

        As a gay woman who is currently pregnant through IUI, I just want to point out that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for someone to opt not to adopt and I feel it’s rather insensitive to claim that it must be for selfish reasons. Honestly, I would love to adopt at some point, but I also really wanted to experience pregnancy as many women do and I don’t think I should feel guilty for that. As a gay couple, adoption is also not always an option depending on the laws of where we live and where the baby was being adopted from. In our case, adoption also would have been a far more expensive and lengthy process. It’s also just not as straight forward as people think. My step-brother has been trying to adopt a child with his wife for a long time now. They finally got the call that they were going to be adopting a baby, they told the children they already have, they prepared their lives for this new addition and when they got to the hospital on delivery day, the birth mother had changed her mind. That’s heartbreaking for a family to go through. Not everyone is up for it.

        And @Leona,
        I’ve heard that argument plenty before and I do agree that there are many other LGBT issues we should be fighting for besides marriage equality (there are more states in the US now where you can be legally fired or denied housing or where sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in hate crime legislation than there are where you can’t legally marry for example which is really surprising when you think about it), but I have always thought there is maybe an element of privilege in having that opinion. There are plenty of people who need to marry in order to share benefits or extend parental rights for previous children. And it’s just generally unsavory to imply that any life choice that differs from yours is not genuine/the result of brainwashing.

      • Amy says:


        Then that sounds a lot like hardcore feminists who slam women for taking on tasks they don’t approve of and end up hurting their cause more.

        If that’s what they wanted from their striving for sexual freedom then that’s fine but a lot of homosexual individuals are content to live a ‘normal’ boring life with few sexual partners, a typical home structure and children. I support people’s freedom and right to do what works for them, not anything that forces them to live by anyone else’s standard.

      • Amy says:


        It’s coming off like you’re suggesting gay people have to pick up the slack that heterosexual couples aren’t by performing adoption. They have their reasons and desires and simply because it wouldn’t be biologically possible for them doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the joy of watching a child grow from infancy or carrying a child.

      • bettyrose says:

        Amy, I appreciate your comments but the injustice is that adoption and gay parenting are considered second class options. Plenty of straight women (myself included) feel no need to incubate a fetus, so I don’t see biological child rearing as any better or more natural than adoption. Straight people should adopt. Gay people should adopt. And many people adopt from within their own families, thus raising biological offspring. But the struggle here is to adjust attitudes. Spending $50k on fertility treatments/surrogacy is of questionable moral value to me and I apply that judgement to all people regardless of gender, orientation, or relationship status. People will continue to get pregnant and that’s fine, but there’s zero shame in not wanting or having that option.

      • Jade says:

        Leona- I’m glad you said what you said. I studied Women’s and Gender Studies in grad school. I remember discussing and doing research on the different schools of thought.

        It’s cool to see others have looked into the research and theories too.

        I don’t agree with D&G, but I enjoy reading people’s opinions on these issues.

    • derpshooter says:

      I think it’s important to remember they are both Italian, ergo they have that strong bond with their Italian mamas more than likely. Italian men’s loyalty to their Italian moms and motherhood is a unique thing. Not sure it can really be understood without being Italian.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        And they were undoubtably raised within the Catholic church which indoctrinated them from a very early age with a lot of religious programming. This is not to defend them but, I agree, they are Italian, they must be viewed in context. Also this is a translated quote, who translated it, what was their agenda, if any?

  4. denisemich says:

    What D&G said was offensive. However, there has long been a debate about surrogacy and whether it is exploitative to women and unnatural. There are few countries in the world that allow it without many restrictions.. India, Romania and US come to mind.

    Anywho nothing is worse than self hate which seems to be D&G, it is really sad.

  5. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I don’t know much about their personal history, but it sounds like perhaps they grew up in very Catholic households. The stance against fertility assistance and the reverence for motherhood sound very Catholic. It confuses me how one can be openly gay and still hold onto those old world Catholic beliefs, but I guess some of those beliefs are so ingrained into you as a child they are hard to give up?

    • MARKWEER says:

      You hit it dead on Scarlet. I was raised in a staunch Catholic household and even though I am out and proud I was also raised (and told repeatedly even in my adult life) that children were something that I could never have or aspire to. There are other things in life that I’m still told that I can’t pray for because of my sexuality. I’m aware that I’ve been brainwashed to a degree, but I still can’t let go of these beliefs–I’ve been Mindf@(ked–So have D & G, but I don’t judge

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      I think this is exactly what is going on.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      I agree Scarlett – not only were gays not to have children, but sexual relations between a hetero couple outside of reproduction was a sin. I was always told sex was for “reproduction, not recreation” and that (and this said by a missionary who came to our parish) women who had sex outside of the reproductive need (I’m quoting, here) were whores. A very rigid (no pun intended) stance with zero tolerance for anything that might divert from Doctrine. It’s shocking that these abusive and antiquated ideas still ferment.

      • Jesmari says:

        Um they don’t teach that. They say that sex is to have children and express love. It is not a sin for Catholics in their golden years to have sex with their spouses.

    • Dolce crema says:

      That would make sense

    • CN says:

      The Catholics do not mess around. They really know how to do a number on people. I went to a Catholic run school for about 13 years and stayed with the religion for about 15 years after that. Even though I no longer practice, I still carry that Catholic guilt with me.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      You are correct. The Catholic church does not condone either artificial birth control OR artificial (which is probably what he meant by “synthetic children”) fertilization. IVF, etc. is prohibited by the church, and only a pregnancy resulting from sex in the traditional sense, within the confines of marriage, is allowed. The Catholic church also does not approve of marriage between two people of the same gender, which is probably also why they (D & G) are against it. And yes, that Catholic guilt runs VERY DEEP! I once grabbed a burger at lunch, and halfway through I suddenly threw it onto the table and jumped up from my chair, feeling ten degrees of shame, because I remembered it was Friday, and during Lent and we’re not supposed to eat meat then. My co-worker just looked at me like I was totally nuts.

  6. lisa2 says:

    They have a right to their opinions.. and a right to voice them. But to call children conceived by alternative means “synthetic children” is gross. It implies that they are somehow less.
    Many people struggle with conception. And the truth is you need an egg and sperm to create life. How you put them together shouldn’t matter as long as in the end the child is loved and cared for.

    We see children created in “traditional’ homes abused, abandoned and mistreated. Parents divorce or separate. So why is the traditional family held up as perfection.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Totally agree.

    • bettyrose says:

      Lisa ITA. Children are so much more than a product of their biological origins. Synthetic is no better than calling children bastards.

    • sdh says:

      They have a right to their opinions…and I have the right to refuse to purchase their branded products. Just because you have the freedom to say something publicly, doesn’t mean you should.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I agree with you but this quote was probably translated from Italian and we are offended by the English word, they do not necessarily have the same meaning, translated quotes must always be taken with a grain of salt.

  7. AG-UK says:

    I have a friend who is Catholic and was desperate for a baby (still doesn’t have one) but as I did IVF I said oh you could try that, but for religious reasons she sort of frowned upon it. In a perfect world it would be great that everyone who wanted children could but it’s not always the case. No reason for me just unexplained?? Luckily the first time around and I only had a 5% chance.

    • Snazzy says:

      Congrats to you and I’m sad for your friend … I had a few friends really struggle with getting pregnant as well, some of them just couldn’t, even with IVF. So I while I don’t have kids myself I can imagine how happy you must be because it worked 😀 Yay for success!

      • AG-UK says:

        exactly . I don’t envy anyone going thru the process I had to WARN people at work as I knew I’d be evil with the drugs you need to take it’s like PMS x100. I have friends who spent $50k over years and nothing.

    • Mel M says:

      Congrats, to you too. My kids are both through IVF and boy does this make my blood boil. My kids are not any different or any less then their naturally conceived cousins. I have endometriosis, through no fault of my own, which prevented the natural conception but after a little assistance from science everything went perfectly. Thank God for science and IVF or I wouldn’t have my two little sweethearts that both deserved a chance.

      • Kate says:

        My 12 year old is the product of IVF. The world is a better place because she is in it. Suck it D&G.

    • Ennie says:

      Catholic here in a mostly catholic country and I can tell you that just the majority of people here uses contraception and there are fertility doctors and clinics, and surrogacy is already regimented in some parts of the country.
      I think the idiosyncrasy would depend in how conservative is the person, not in the religion per se, tho

  8. savu says:

    This confounds me because if you attach these words to a straight person, I’d be losing my mind. But I guess because they’re gay, this impacts them, and they’re involved in the issue, if that makes sense. I guess I do see the “old worldness” of it. And you’re right, I can respect their view a little on that. But in terms of the “synthetic children” thing, are you kidding? I almost think this is a joke. Like I could see myself making a joke about petri dish babies (because jokes are for fun and not for expressing your sincere views about something) and saying something similar. But as a genuine sentiment? That’s so… gross. It disappoints me. Although let’s not forget that D&G are far from perfect, whether it’s appropriation of black culture to their tax problems.

    Y’all are gonna hate me for this, but I wish adoption was more common. Science is amazing, and I don’t want to deny those who dream of having their own children that. However I think people are more willing to go to whatever lengths to have their own children than also consider adoption a serious alternative. I plan to adopt because I was raised by an AMAZING stepmom and dad, and I don’t see the passing on of my genes important or necessary. Adoption is amazing! And please don’t forget that there are plenty of kids in America who deserve loving homes too. I just feel like often it’s treated as the last resort, instead of a plan A, B or C. I’ll get off the soap box now, that just made me think of it.

    Can I just say I love their ads though? The past few years, they’ve been doing the “family event” theme and I’ve been loving it. As an Italian-American who’s spent time in Italy, show me some fiery women yelling at some family event and I’m so in. Love it.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Thanks for your comment. Adoption is a wonderful option indeed, and more common informally in many cultures other than the U.S.A. Good luck as you go forward.

      Ha, D&G do a family event theme with fiery women yelling? Let’s go girls. They wouldn’t even have to pay me.

      • savu says:

        I’m SO game. Give me a bottle of wine, my extended family, and keep the camera rolling.

    • Red32 says:

      For every happy adoption story, there is a horror story about potential adoptive parents getting their hearts ripped out because a birth mother changed her mind at the last minute, or there was a problem with the other country involved, or the gov’t decided the foster child’s abusive bio mother was finally cured after the 10th trip to rehab and takes him/her away. There is very little legal recourse for those people. I’m not trying to dissuade people from adoption, I’m just tired of it being brought up anytime assisted reproduction is, because they both have risks and rewards and are very personal choices.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        For every many *hundreds* of happy adoption stories, there is a horror story. Because people are listening for these less-then-ideal outcomes to justify their bias against or fear of adoption, they stand out in our minds, but the proportion isn’t one-for-one, far from it. Adoption is everywhere, so are assisted pregnancies, and we are all richer for it.

        People taking the leap of faith to become parents can run into heartbreaking problems at any stage, whether during a pregnancy, an adoption process, or during the long (long, long, my god is it long) period of child-rearing and maturation. That’s how it goes, but most times things work out right.

      • savu says:

        Thanks for your comment Red. I’d also advocate for adopting the older children from our own countries, which could remove some of those obstacles. Just like natural, or science-assisted births of children, there can be road blocks. I’ve gotta agree with Who Are These though. There aren’t really “horror stories” “for every happy adoption story”. That’s not an accurate ratio to put out there.

      • Dolce crema says:

        That’s a good point. I have kids but adoption does appeal to me as a way to grow a family. And my main concern (after the fact that we don’t have $50000 ready to go) is not at all the genetic connection between us and the child, it’s the risk of all the things that could go wrong and be hurtful to the child or to us. I guess having any child has risks but there are special vulnerablilities with adoption. Maybe I’ve just read the wrong stories. There are some happy adoptions in our extended family, both children were around 4 when adopted.

    • Leona says:

      I completely co-sign. I guess its a personality thing? I dont get the lengths people go to have biological children. Why is it so difficult to just give a homeless child that love rather than spend time, money and emotional energy trying to defeat the biology of ones own body. I really must be missing something.

      • Red32 says:

        I guess it’s about as difficult as it is to mind your own business about how other people build their families.

      • Sam says:

        It’s a biological urge. We are hardwired to want to propagate our species. The inability to do that is considered an evolutionary failure by some. We also live in a culture that really upholds pregnancy as something wonderful and amazing and many women feel like they’re missing out if they can’t do that. It’s a really complex set of emotions. It’s hard to acknowledge that if you’re infertile, your body cannot do one of the most basic human functions, and you can feel pretty crappy when that happens. Some people still truly believe that you won’t bond or feel the same way about children who are not your biological own, or that adoption is a “second best” type of thing. And adoption is not easy at all in this country.

      • AuroraO says:

        @Sam I don’t have that urge. I’m almost 30. So I guess my brain is faulty. It has nothing to do with the fact that our planet is already overpopulated. I will have nothing to do with that problem.

    • Courtney says:

      Adoption in the US is crazy unethical.

      • Gretchen says:

        @Courtney How so? I’m not doubting you btw, genuinely curious.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        Gretchen – The birth mother has up to a year to change her mind and you’ll have to give up your (adopted) child if she wants it. The amount of bonding and heart, mind and soul a parent has invested by the time a baby is a year old is truly heartbreaking when the birth mother changes her mind and is legally allowed to take the baby back.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Adoption is not so easy or simple, even if you have love to give, I am reconciled (now) to my situation, but it is sad to be infertile and to have money be the deciding factor in whether or not other options are available to you.

  9. Who ARE these people? says:

    Synthetic is for fabrics.

    Families by adoption also run into language biased to suggest, as do our designer friends here, that living, loving, breathing, wholly human children are somehow different due to the way they joined a family, with terms like “natural” children (as opposed to…) and so on. Thank goodness we live in a time in which families can be made more ways than ever. You can never have too much love.

    More reasons to admire and respect Sir Elton. More reasons to think fashion designers are alien beings. PS David Furnish’s boots! : )

    • Lucky Charm says:

      IVF is artificial, not natural, and I think that’s what he meant by “synthetic”. That still doesn’t mean everyone who feels differently needs to excuse him for what he meant, however.

  10. Mia4S says:

    They have a right to their disgusting opinions and we have a right not to in any way support their business.

    However the “synthetic” comment is just ridiculous. You still need the same materials as the old fashioned way. What do you think they’re made of? Plasticine? Idiots.

    The “traditional” family as absolute was the backbone of the peaceful, prosperous, thriving world we live in today…. Oh wait…yeah I’m not impressed. Wider minds, bigger horizons please.

  11. nic says:

    Homophobic douchebaggery is no less homophobic douchebaggery when the douchebags are gay.

    • Amy says:

      Exactly. Some individuals on the wrong side of the majority parrot the talking points against them as if believing in cruelty helps anyone.

  12. Who ARE these people? says:

    Sorry for multiple comments but the breathtakingness keeps me coming back for more.

    They do realize that the Church they were likely born into & a whole flock of fundamentalists think that they and their prior relationship and probably a lot of their friends and co-workers are “unnatural” too, don’t they? *Don’t they?*

    Talk about boys in a bubble…some opinions are better left unshared.

    Also, people who spout tripe like this have zero thought for the feelings of the children who came into the world, or joined their families, by any means other than the way that meets their approval. That’s just mean to hurt the feelings of children and make them feel any less then who they are — and about something that was completely beyond their control .

    Someone should ask D&G about the way the baby Jesus came into the world…natural, synthetic or blend?

  13. Stephani says:

    I love and hug on the blessing that is my IVF baby everyday. She not only brings happiness to our family but everyone she meets. People don’t “know” how she was conceived and it clearly doesn’t matter.

    They have the right to their opinions and I have the right to give them the side eye and completely ignore them from here on out. Freedom of Speech has consequences.

  14. Sam says:

    In a way, I can sort of see what they might be trying to get at.

    There are a lot of ethical issues around surrogacy and gamete donation. In some countries it’s become a big deal because of the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which states that children have an inherent right to know their genetic and cultural/ethnic histories and there have been some cases in which that has led to courts have forced the revealing of the identities of sperm/egg donors so that children can pursue relationships with them if they wish. And surrogacy brings up all kinds of issues about the ethics of essentially renting another human’s body, which is a whole other can of worms.

    It sounds more like they’re very much into the “natural” idea of parenting. They feel like, as gay men, nature didn’t intend for them to reproduce together, and that gay people should accept that (just as infertile straight couples should) and just face it. That is pretty mean, because many gay people have just a strong a longing for kids as anybody else. But that’s a strong idea among some people – if you can’t naturally conceive, accept that and either build a meaningful life without children and/or build the family through adoption.

    Here’s the thing though – wasn’t Elton very open about wanting to adopt as his first choice? I remember that he and his husband tried to adopt a Ukrainian boy but laws about age prevented them from doing so, so they turned to reproductive technology. Maybe this is really an argument for the liberalization of adoption laws so more people who want to adopt can do so. Maybe we’d see less reproductive technology if that was the case.

    • Courtney says:

      In the US, adoption, surrogacy, and egg/sperm donation, are almost entirely set up to benefit the infertile with very little thought given to the child involved. Our practices are unethical as hell. Everyone deserves to know where they came from.

      • Sam says:

        I’m very torn. I actually have a colleague who is a lesbian, married to her wife, and they used a sperm donor to conceive their son. Well, the son is now 16 and has been agitating for a long time to get his donor’s records or otherwise track him down. He says he does not want any kind of father/son relationship, but he wants to know his genetic/ethnic history. He also looks exactly like the guy – he doesn’t resemble either mother in any way, despite their attempts to select for somebody who resembled his non-bio mom. It’s caused a ton of grief in their family because his moms cannot understand why he needs to find somebody who “wasn’t a parent to him.”

        I’m torn on it. I think many people have powerful urges to know their full history, and that includes knowing the people who helped make you. I was shocked when I found out how many online communities there are for donor-born kids who try to seek out donors or other people born from the same donor – making them essentially half-siblings. A ton of people are doing this.

        I do think that US law needs to do a better job of addressing the complexities of this stuff. Right now, children born this way lack a lot of rights and standing to know their own pasts. It seems like we’re stuck between two extremes – the belief that your DNA controls everything about you (false) and that the ideal for kids is to be raised by your two genetic parents – or the opposite that genes mean nothing (also false) and that any desire to know your genetic heritage is stupid or misguided. They’re both wrong. We can acknowledge that many families are built by ties that don’t have anything to do with DNA while still acknowledging the importance of genetic heritage and give kids the option to know that part of them if they so choose.

      • Mel M says:

        @sam, do you feel the same way about adopted children? Do you think that your friend’s son would feel the same if he was adopted instead? Do you think the U.S. has to make this info available to adopted children so they can know their genetic history as well? I’m genuinely asking because I feel like a sperm or egg donor should and probably wants to have the same rights as a couple or woman who gives their child up if they don’t want to be known to that child in the future and have a right to privacy. I’m sure both adoptive parents and sperm or egg donors who choose to sign all of their rights away and don’t want to be looked up in the future also don’t want to live with the thought always in the back of their minds that a child could come knocking at any time. Idk, there must be a happy medium but I have no idea where it would be.

      • Sam says:

        Generally, yes, I feel the same way about adoptees.

        Not all adoptees have any desire to know their biological families (Steve Jobs was a famous example – he repeatedly refused to reach out to his birth parents, although he did have contact with Mona Simpson, his bio-sister). But lots of adoptees DO want to reach out to their bio parents. Some of them just want to know the circumstances that led to the adoption, some want other things. It’s not for me to judge them.

        I think children created with donor materials might feel the same way. Many of them have a strong desire to meet the person (or just be able to get some information of them) who contributed to their genetic makeup. To me, that’s their right, if they want it. It’s a right that’s independent of the rights of the birth parents, donors or intended family. It’s THEIR’S to have.

        The problem a lot of times is that people argue that if such laws became reality, they would have unintended consequences. For example, a court in Britain ruled that the Declaration on Rights of the Child essentially created a right to know one’s donor, and the identities of all sperm and egg donors must become known to the children who they help conceive. The result was that egg and sperm donations in the UK dropped quite dramatically, since many potential donors did not like the idea that if they donated, the potential outcome would be that 16 or 18 years later, there might be knock at the door. A lot of LGBT organizations said that made it much harder for couples to create families.

        I feel like donor privacy rights cannot trump the innate human right to know your history, largely because donation is totally voluntary. You have no obligation to do it, and you know what the end result could be. I get that it’s a benevolent act, but I can’t see how that trumps a right that the UN recognizes as fundamental to humanity (the right to know where you come from). Ultimately, while I understand how strong the urge to have a child of your own is, I have to side with what I consider the more pressing human rights concern.

  15. Bex says:

    I’m absolutely not judging here but I’ve noticed that many male gay couples such as Elton and David seem to have boy babies not girls by surrogate. Does anyone know if this is the norm or am I making a sweeping generalisation?
    Sigh, I suppose I am being judgemental. I’m absolutely not against anyone having children by surrogacy but feel a bit queasy over the idea that only embryos of a certain sex may be implanted.

    • Red32 says:

      Studies have shown that IVF tends to produce more boys. I know three other couples that used IVF and we all have twin boys and did not select the gender. It’s possible that celebrities aren’t choosing the gender, it just happens they are more likely to have a boy.

    • Sam says:

      Sex selection is a thing in IVF (sometimes, not all couples do this). It’s doable because the X and Y sperm have different characteristics and there are techniques for sorting them. I’ve also seen some reports that say that the IVF process is more favorable to Y sperm, which makes it more likely to produce sons.

      Obviously, there is absolutely no evidence that Elton and his husband did this – it’s really possible that they just had two boys by luck of the draw.

      I think in most cases couples using IVF aren’t after any particular type of baby – most of them are doing it to have A baby, period. But yes, it is possible to do sex selection in IVF.

      I think the comments would have been better received if they framed it as concerns about the ethical and moral implications of reproductive technology vs. the whole “synthetic children” thing. That’s what’s getting them in trouble.

      • Dolce crema says:

        But that wasn’t their objection, they had other objections unrelated to sex selection and embryo disposal. I like that people being up new view points that I’ve never thought of. I don’t think this is the stupidest viewpoint ever but it could have been shared with a lot more tact, even sharing it apologetically would have been appropriate because their philosophy which may make loads of sense logically to some people is very offensive, insulting, and hurtful to the many many get people who have started families now.

    • Dubois says:

      There’s an article on the Daily Fail today that has Elton & David – 2 boys, Matt Bomer & partner – 3 boys, Ricky Martin 2 boys, Neil Patrick Harris & partner – boy/girl twins, Cynthia Nixon & partner – boy, Tom Ford & partner – boy.

    • Malificent says:

      IUI, which occurs in the woman’s body and doesn’t involve sex selection, also results statistically in more boys than girls. “Y” sperm tend to swim faster, “X” sperm tend to last longer. Because women using IUI are often closely monitored to perform the IUI closer to the exact time of ovulation — faster swimmers win — hence more boys. If conception occurs within the window further away from the actual time of ovulation, longevity matters more than speed. Therefore, the “old-fashioned way”, in which the timing isn’t as exact, tends to result in a higher percentage of girls than IUI.

      But this is all statistics in small percentages — plenty of anecdotal stories to the contrary on both sides.

  16. funcakes says:

    It’s dolche and gabbana for goodness sake. Who cares what they think. All they care about is dressing rich people in their over priced over hyped clothes.

    They’re a flea on the ass of society much like uncle Karl and his opinions of plus size models.

  17. Miss Jupitero says:

    Children benefit from being part of stable and committed family units– no.matter what the genders of their parents. One argument courts have used to strike down same-sex marriage bans is that such legislation wffectively discriminates against children whose parents are gay or lesbian, denying them the same opportunity for security And protection. The children might not be the explicit target of homophobic laws, but ultimately they are made to suffer. I’m anticipating (knock on wood) that the supreme court will finally make marriage equality the law of the land, and I’ll be curious to see if this is brought up in its decision.

  18. Irishserra says:

    I, too, am peeved with the comment about about synthetic children. Children and children and regardless of how they were conceived, have the same rights and need the same love and care. That was a terrible comment. I suppose I feel relieved, then, that these two have no plans to become fathers anytime soon.

  19. Patty says:

    I could be wrong (and it is still a horrible thing to say) but I think they were referring specifically to the lengths that gay people go to in order to have children. I don’t think that they were talking about heterosexual couples who may have infertility issues and use other methods to have their own biological children.

    I’m not that surprised that they would feel this way. I have met people, who are opposed to such methods even with heterosexual couples. I think this is for a number reasons, some of which have been pointed out above.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I get what they’re trying to say. They’re saying children should be conceived naturally. Not in a doctor’s office or a lab. It’s messed up what they’re saying, but they are entitled to their opinion.

    • Sam says:

      They’re taking the “naturalist” position. They’re saying that if you can’t conceive your children naturally via intercourse, then you are not meant to have biological children and you should accept that. Obviously, two gay men in a relationship cannot naturally conceive, so they’re essentially saying such couples should not use donors, surrogates or anything else to make a baby. Neither should infertile straight couples. It’s an offensive position to many people because many people see no issue with using assistance to help make a baby.

  20. Malificent says:

    Dolce and Gabbana are entitled to their opinion. My only big issue with them is to insult the children as “synthetic”. They are welcome to say what they want about the judgment and choices of the parents — but to say something so unkind about any child, for any reason, is inexcusable.

    I understand the history behind D&G’s attitude, but true freedom is when everyone gets to decide what their own bliss should look like. And for many of us with non-traditional families, gay and straight, our dream is simply to live a life more ordinary.

    If we limited parenting to people who were “demographically acceptable” to provide completely stress-free lives for our children, the world would be empty in a few generations. No gay parents, no single parents, no parents in an ethnic minority, no disabled parents, no poor parents — no matter how loving — all of these people provide their children with a “less-than-perfect” environment.

    And what of the family’s who meet the criteria. How many children are raised in wealthy, two-parent households with coldness and strife, if not outright abuse or neglect? I’d need to get out a calculator just to keep track of the number that I personally know.

    None of us are perfect, demographically or as human beings. Each of us makes a “selfish” choice to bring a child into the world. For myself, not a day goes by that I don’t worry that my choices will affect my son’s life. But I think that’s the point — I care enough about my son to want his happiness and to do my best to provide him with a loving home. Our family wasn’t “perfect” from the start, and it’s rarely perfect on any given day. But my child goes to bed every night knowing that he is wanted and loved beyond measure. And I have to think that that counts for something.

    • Amy says:

      Amen, everything you’ve said. All of it. ‘Perfect’ families don’t exist, loving ones do.

  21. Veronica says:

    I thought the synthetic comment about IVF was really off. I can get the intolerance of homosexuality in the older generation , but IVF is used far more often by infertile heterosexual couples. A little cruel to single that specific technology out.

  22. Ennie says:

    Back when Ricky Martin had his twins, he was in a stable relationship and all, and still he said that the babies would have a mother figure in some member (s) of his family. I do think that the children NEED the father and mother figures, both of them, to be able to establish healthy relationships with both sexes when the are older.
    I don’t know how Elton of other gay or lesbian couple are raining their children. I do agree with the same sex parenting, but I do think that those couples need to think in some kind of strategy to give their children a staple mother or father figure opposed to what they are.
    In a way, maybe that is what D&G meant.

    • BooBees says:

      What about single moms/dads?

      • Ennie says:

        SAme, those who I know have a father or mother figure (uncle, grandfather or viceversa) who is an important figure for the child.
        In one case we have where I work, (a single mom of a teen boy), the boy has conflicts because the father figures are an uncle and the grandfather (dad does not want to relate), and the uncle is an unhealthy, machist figure. That creates conflicts with the mom and especially female teachers, in some cases he has conflicts in relating to female classmates, who he tends to bully.
        In an opposite case, a female coworker is a single mom and her boy is a respectful young man. raising healthy children (body and mind) is not an easy task in any way for any type of family.

      • Lin says:

        Well I grew up with a single mother, because my father died when I was little, and trust me I had and still have many issues.

  23. SmellyCat says:

    Thou shalt not piss off Sir Elton. He is the Queen of Errrything!!

  24. **sighs** says:

    If they’re going to go down the “if it doesn’t happen naturally, then it shouldn’t happen” road, then I hope they have never had any medical procedure. Medical science, outside of herbs and what have you, is not natural. C-sections are not natural. Organ transplants are not natural. Hip replacements are not natural. Hell, man made medicine is not natural. Those synthetic babies are just as natural as anything else we do to ourselves via medicine. Yes, there are a lot of ethics around every decision, but that’s no reason to call children, who have feelings, btw, synthetic, for something that was not their choice to begin with.
    I’m glad these 2 aren’t having children, to be honest.

  25. Joh says:

    Scandal sells, maybe they think because they are gay, these ignorant comments pack almost the same punch as being rascist,
    Without the danger of major backlash rascist comments can cause.
    It’s all show biz!

  26. Bread and Circuses says:

    Well, technically I’m already boycotting Dolce & Gabbana, but that’s because I’m poor. But hey, take what you can get, Elton; I support you!

  27. sassy says:

    As far as the “why don’t people adopt more” question, I think that if it weren’t as expensive and not so many stringent laws around it, more people would adopt.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I agree, I can’t have children, can’t afford extreme measures and can’t afford adoption. I have noticed people with money have no problem finding children to adopt.

  28. dj says:

    There are times when a “sticks and stones” way of thinking is helpful. Unfortunately, in this hate filled era saying that IVF children are in any way different or “synthetic” can start a wave of prejudice against those children who are conceived in love.

  29. Lela says:


  30. jwoolman says:

    It’s possible that a better translation would have been “synthesized children”, which just means the children were deliberately “put together”. That wouldn’t have the negative connotations of “synthetic”= “artificial” = “not real” in ordinary English. At least when translating scientific materials, I have to think about which word is better in a specific context since the same cognate for the English “synthetic” is often used in other languages. But the sense is not identical and synthetic or artificial do not always fit the context properly. So words sounding like “synthetic” can be “false friends” for translators, giving us headaches in trying to decipher the proper meaning when the English cognate isn’t quite right.

    Or of course these guys could just be jerks….

  31. A.Key says:

    Hello, they’re Italian, why is anyone surprised…