Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth couple's joy over surrogacy success

Tracy and Pete Akoun with their daughters Nyobi and Kenya Image copyright Andrew Matthews/ PA Wire
Image caption Tracy and Pete Akoun with their daughters Nyobi (right) and Kenya (left) who were born a month apart to two different surrogate mothers, at home in Portsmouth

A couple conned out of hundreds of pounds as they tried to find a surrogate mother have finally become parents.

Tracy and Pete Akoun had also suffered multiple miscarriages as they tried to conceive a baby.

But now they are celebrating after two daughters arrived within a month of each other, from two different surrogate mothers.

The couple, from Portsmouth, had found the women via social media.

It comes after 47-year-old Mrs Akoun suffered a miscarriage following accidentally falling pregnant not long after meeting her husband.

After several more miscarriages, the couple assessed other options, including surrogacy.

But after creating a profile on a surrogacy website they were duped out of £400 by a woman who conned them into starting the procedure.

Undeterred, Mr and Mrs Akoun joined a Facebook group, through which they found two women, with partners and children of their own.

Mother-of-five Tricia Hunt, 36, and Kate Fruin-Smith, 37, who also has five of her own children, were paid a monthly fee by the couple after becoming pregnant.

Image copyright Andrew Matthews/ PA Wire
Image caption Nyobi (left) was born to Mrs Hunt on June 4 at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester while Kenya (right) was born to Ms Fruin-Smith on July 4 at Rotherham General Hospital, South Yorkshire

Mrs Akoun, an assistant manager in a care home, said they were "ecstatic" after the couple were able to have the "twins" they never had.

Their daughters, Nyobi and Kenya were born within a month of each other in June and July last year.

Mrs Akoun, who has an 18-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, said they keep in touch with the surrogate mothers.

"The relationship is like family and we're still in touch. I don't have any jealousy or insecurity when they're here," she said.

"To both girls, I am their mum."

Image copyright Kate Fruin-Smith/ PA Wire
Image caption Tricia Hunt (left) and Kate Fruin-Smith (right) both have five children of their own and live with their partners but wanted to do something to "give back"

Mrs Hunt and Ms Fruin-Smith, who live in different parts of the UK, both decided to become surrogate mothers as a way of "giving back".

The women had used donor sperm to become pregnant in their separate same-sex relationships and felt they could help other women trying to start a family.

Ms Fruin-Smith said: "We decided that if we were going to accept help, we could help others. It's so rewarding to know you can make that much difference in somebody's life."

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