By: Daily Mail, Rebekah Scanlan and Steven Trask
A selfless sister who vowed to help her gay brother and his partner become parents has made their dream come true not once but twice.
Rhiannon Stevens, 35, from Melbourne, first offered to become a surrogate for her younger brother, Clinton, 14 years ago.
Clinton and his partner Callum, 33, tied the knot in 2012 and began pursuing their dream of becoming parents.
But with adoption and international surrogacy proving difficult for the couple, Rhiannon, a mum-of-three, stepped in to fulfill her promise.
Happy family: Rhiannon (second from left) is pictured with brother Clinton (left), his partner Callum (second from right) and her nieces Zara (with Clinton) and Aiden (with Callum)
Close: Rhiannon (left) promised to help Clinton (right) have children 14 years ago when he came out as gay
Using a donor egg and the couple’s sperm, Rhiannon became pregnant with their eldest daughter Zara, two, after a successful embryo transfer in 2014.
Now she’s also given birth to their second daughter, Aiden, who was born just three weeks ago, making the couple proud parents for the second time.
Rhiannon said: ‘I’ve always said that when the time came, I’d help Clinton to have a child.
‘It felt like the most natural thing in the world to offer to be his and Callum’s surrogate.
‘I’ve never been concerned about having any difficulty handing the baby over to them at the end of the process.
‘After Zara was born, it only took me three months to offer to go again.
‘Clinton and Callum are absolutely wonderful with kids and helping them to become parents was a dream come true for me. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.’
Adored: Although they had their fair share of squabbles, Rhiannon said her and Clinton were always close growing up (pictured as children)
‘Didn’t take long’: Just three months after giving birth to the couple’s first child, Rhiannon was offering to carry more for them
Rhiannon, an administration officer, and her brother have always been close, both sharing a love of kids and working as babysitters in their teenage years.
She said: ‘We fought like all siblings as kids, but as soon as we grew up we adored each other.
‘When Clinton came out to our family, the first thing I said was that I’d help him to have a baby when the time was right.
Natural: ‘It felt like the most natural thing in the world to offer to be his and Callum’s surrogate,’ Rhiannon said
‘I don’t think he thought I was serious at the time, but I never forgot about my promise.’
As the years rolled by, Rhiannon went on to get married and have three kids of her own, Soraya, 10, Cobie, eight, and Mahli, seven, while Clinton travelled and lived overseas.
But in 2010 he met Callum through a friend and love blossomed.
She said: ‘They were such great uncles to my kids. Both completely natural and offering different qualities.
‘When they announced they were getting married in 2012, I knew they’d be looking to become parents soon. They’d be great dads.’
Great dads: Callum (left) and Clinton (right) are pictured with the latest addition to their budding family, baby Aiden
But when the loved-up pair looked into the process, they quickly came to the realisation that adoption and international surrogacy were both lengthy and complicated.
Clinton said: ‘I remember on my first date with Callum I told him I wanted to be a dad one day.
‘Surrogacy was complicated and not allowed in some states because we’re gay while adoption could take years.
Complicated: Knowing that finding an international surrogate would be difficult, Clinton (left) turned to his sister Rhiannon (right)
‘Of course, I remembered Rhiannon’s kind offer. But it was a big deal and I wasn’t sure if I could ask for something so generous.’
The boys didn’t need to worry though, as Rhiannon once again offered to be their ‘oven’ not long after they embarked on their journey to fatherhood.
She said: ‘I thought I’d made it clear that my offer to help was genuine, but when the boys approached me they seemed nervous as they thought it was a huge thing for me.
‘They flew to see me in Melbourne and we went for dinner to discuss it all.
‘By the end of the meal, we were celebrating with wine and pizza.’
Trusting: Her brother’s partner Callum (left) was such a great uncle to Rhiannon’s own children that she knew he’d make a fantastic father
It took twelve long months of legal formalities, including signing a contract and undergoing intensive counselling, before Rhiannon could begin the IVF treatment.
Rhiannon added: ‘The process was slow to begin with. I was ready to go from the moment we discussed it, but we had heaps of hoops to jump through.
‘Eventually though, we were given the thumbs up and doctors started prepping embryos which were made using the boy’s sperm and a donor egg.
‘Amazingly, I fell pregnant with Zara on the first transfer and I knew very quickly after that I was.
‘It was tough as I couldn’t tell them until the clinic had done a proper blood test. I was having to avoid them for fear of spilling the beans too soon.’
Helping hand: ‘When Clinton came out to our family, the first thing I said was that I’d help him to have a baby when the time was right,’ said Rhiannon (pictured with one of her children)
Amazing: Rhiannon (left) fell pregnant with Zara after the very first egg transfer. She is pictured with brother Clinton (centre)
It was an emotional and exciting time for the dads-to-be, who flew backwards and forwards between Sydney and Melbourne for scans and appointments.
Clinton said: ‘I was very aware that my sister was doing so much for us, so I wanted to be there for her as much as possible.
‘It was very exciting watching our little girl grow and seeing Rhee’s tummy pop. We couldn’t wait for her to arrive.’
Zara was born a few days before Christmas in 2014, with both dads right by Rhiannon’s bedside.
She said: ‘I knew what labour was like so I warned them they weren’t in for a pretty ride.
‘There were a few issues with Zara’s arrival, but the moment they saw her, they were in love.
‘ I never forgot’: Rhiannon (left) said that, although her brother (right) might not have taken her seriously, she never forgot her promise to help him have children
Privileged: Rhiannon (right) said it was an honour to carry a child for her brother Clinton (left)
‘This little girl that had grown inside of me, was their baby and I felt so privileged to have been a part of that.
‘I knew then that I’d do it again in a flash.’
When Zara was just three months old, Rhiannon offered to carry another baby for her brother.
Rhiannon said: ‘It was a really easy decision for me. My three kids were completely fine with the fact that their mummy had grown a baby for their uncle and I loved seeing Clinton and Callum so happy.
‘It took another year or so for the process to happen again but when it did, I was over the moon.
‘I loved being an aunty to Zara and couldn’t wait to help give her a sibling.’
‘I always knew’: Rhiannon said it was not hard to hand over the child she had carried for nine months
On November 20, 2016, Rhiannon gave birth to another niece, Aiden.
She said: ‘This time the birth was a lot more enjoyable as there were no complications.
‘Both Callum and Clinton got skin-to-skin time with her just moments after she was born. It was beautiful to watch.
‘Of course, people always ask me how I knew I’d be able to hand over the baby I’d carried for nine months at the end.
‘I always tell them that it’s because I always knew I was carrying my brother’s baby. Not mine.
‘The hardest thing about the process for me is actually saying goodbye to my brother, as I love having him around.
‘Zara and Aiden are both beautiful girls, but I am very happy in my role as their aunt.’
Now Clinton and Callum are looking forward to their future as dads to two girls, and can’t quite believe their sister gave them such an incredible gift.
Clinton said: ‘The fact my sister helped us to become parents twice is such a testament to the woman she is.
‘Becoming dads for the second time is a gift we can never repay and we’re looking forward to explaining to Zara and Aiden exactly how they came into the world when they’re old enough.’