Otway family back together

The Andrew family at its Beech Forest property after an eight-month process to bring Tomas, born via surrogacy in Kazakstan, to live in Australia. Pictured are, Tomas, John, Zhanar and Nicholas.

A sense of normality is returning for a Beech Forest family, after an eight-month ordeal that kept them a hemisphere apart.

Zhanar Andrew and baby Tomas, born in August via surrogacy in Kazakhstan, arrived in Australia on Thursday to the relief of Zhanar’s husband John and eldest son Nicholas.

“How do you explain it? Just terrific,” John said. “Zhanar crept up and ambushed us from behind at the airport.

“The first thing she did was grab Nicholas from behind, and Nicholas thought a crocodile got him, but it was his mum; the look on his face was worth a million words.”

The Andrews chose for Tomas to be born in Kazakhstan, the home country of Zhanar who is an Australian permanent resident. They chose a surrogate because Zhanar could not carry any more children of her own.

The Herald has followed the family’s effort to reunite since November, after confusion arose about how the baby would enter Australia. The family ultimately obtained citizenship by descent and an emergency passport.

The family also needed to clear hurdles including written consent from Tomas’ surrogate, and even completed a DNA test, to ensure the now 10-month-old came home.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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