A New Zealand gay couple has appealed for cash to get their "triplings" (three babies born from one set of sperm and one egg and carried by different surrogate mothers) out of Mexico. David and Nicky Beard flew to Mexico in early March to pick up their children.

The men vented their fury to the press about the "cockroach-infested hospital" surrounded by "wild dogs" in a "dangerous third-world country" where they claim they were "trapped" by a lack of funds and bureaucracy. A friend of theirs launched an appeal for money on the internet because they had run into unexpected healthcare costs for one of the babies, who was born prematurely.

"We have spent every cent we have left to bring these three beautiful Kiwi babies into the world. We now need to get ourselves and the three babies out of this dangerous country and back to the safety of New Zealand," they told the website Gay NZ.

They say they saved for four years to have the babies – premature Lachlan and twins Kelly – and are now $280,000 (£197,000) in debt.

A local fellow surrogacy father said he met the couple in Mexico and that the pair spoke in glowing terms about the country and the people, and he found it offensive that they were now "telling a totally different story" according to a report in The Guardian.

"It's very nice to hear people from outside [the country] talk well of Mexico. I'm kind of shocked because I was surfing the web and found this news about these guys from New Zealand telling a totally different story. I really got mad because you can't do that. I really feel offended – having someone say that their babies were born around cockroaches is really offensive," he said.

Even the men's own Mexican attorney is telling them to take a lighter approach. "There are no problems," attorney León Altamirano told The Guardian. "They need to sign some affidavits and some consents for the adoption, but they are not stuck here.

"I didn't understand why in the interview he said that at the place where the babies were born there were cockroaches. It's a private clinic. You can get everything here. He wrote something that this was a 'hell hole'. I thought, 'What's wrong with you?'"

Alice Torres Meza, who coordinated the surrogacy process for Surrogacy Cancun Mexico, said both Beards were well aware that a premature birth would result in costs not covered in their contract. "It is listed in his contract, as part of his responsibility," she said, referring to David Beard. "It is very unfortunate but, his parental responsibility."