One child, two biological mothers - it's possible!

One child, two biological mothers - it's possible!

Imagine a world where a child has two biological mothers! Yes the marvels of science have made it possible and the two-mum approach lets same-sex couple share the biological role

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : November 12, 2014 2:46 PM IST

Imagine a world where a child has two biological mothers! Yes the marvels of science have made it possible and the two-mum approach lets same-sex couples share the biological role. The process involves one woman's eggs, mixed in a lab dish with a donor sperm and then implanted in the other woman who carries the pregnancy. Essentially, one woman plays the role of the surrogate mother.

A New York doctor described 18 of these cases this week at a fertility conference in Boston that featured other research on ways to help same-sex couples have children. Dr Alan Copperman is medical director of Reproductive Medicine Associates, a New York City clinic that does the 'two-mum' approach.

A New York couple Sarah Marshall, 40, a recruiter for law firms, and Maggie Leigh Marshall, 35, a real estate broker used it to have their daughter, Graham, now 18 months old. Maggie's eggs were used to make embryos that were implanted in Sarah, and both women are listed as parents on the birth certificate. 'It allowed us both to participate,' Sarah Marshall said. 'I had to mentally and psychologically give up the idea of, is she going to look like me or my family. But from the time I started carrying her up to now, she is definitely mine.' Here are 10 superfoods every pregnant woman should eat during pregnancy.

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Maggie Marshall said she had no interest in being pregnant, but 'Sarah really wanted to have the experience. We also thought it would be a great way to bond with a kid that ultimately would look a lot like me.' It wasn't cheap the couple spent nearly $100,000 on multiple failed attempts before the last one worked. A single in vitro fertilisation attempt can run $15,000 to more than $20,000, depending on how much embryo testing is done and whether some embryos are frozen to allow multiple attempts from one batch. Know how losing some weight can help you undergo a successful IVF treatment.

One Canadian study suggests that more lesbian couples have been seeking fertility services in Ontario since same-sex marriage was legalised in the province a decade ago. Some doctors think interest is also up in the US. For male couples, many clinics offer egg donors and surrogate moms, using one or both men's sperm. 'The modern family is created in a way that would be humbled by traditional fertility treatments,' said Copperman. 'We're seeing more and more couples come in and want to share the parenting experience,' and their medical forms more often say 'wife' rather than 'domestic partner.'

'This is something that a lot of lesbian couples choose to do' if they can afford it, said Melissa Brisman, a reproductive law specialist in Montvale, New Jersey, who has advised many such couples. 'Some doctors really have a problem doing this for nonmedical reasons' because any medical procedures carry risks of infections or other complications, she added. Many fertility specialists are willing, though, and see the risks as small. Here is how the hormone kisspeptin can help in IVF treatments in future.

'We get same-sex couples from all over the world' because some nations don't allow surrogacy or egg donation, said Roger Good, chief executive officer of HRC Fertility, which runs nine clinics in Southern California. In the US, 'there is greater awareness and acceptability' of same-sex relationships, and 'less prejudice has allowed them to look at what their options are' for having children, he said.

Is it feasible in India?

While homosexuality has been decriminalised in India, we still continue to be a deeply homophobic society. In January, the Indian government passed laws which banned foreign gay couples and single men/women from seeking surrogates in India. According to the , diktat says that only a man-woman couple who have been married for over two years will be granted medical visas for surrogacy. This was done to ostensibly to strengthen laws and regulations surrounding surrogacy in India which is worth a staggering Rs 13,033 cr (1.5 billion pounds / 2.4 billion dollars. We guess LGBT couples will have to wait until we progress enough to realise that you don't need a man and a woman to raise a child!

Dr Aniruddha Malpani,a renowned IVF specialist writes more about surrogacy.

What is surrogacy? How is it done?

The word 'surrogate' means substitute or replacement and a surrogate mother is one who lends her uterus to another couple so that they can have a baby. In the West, where fewer and fewer babies are offered for adoption, surrogacy is gaining popularity, despite controversial legal and ethical hassles. India is fast becoming the surrogacy capital of the world* because IVF surrogacy in India is much less expensive than in other parts of the world.

Why is surrogacy so popular? What kinds of people need surrogacy? Why do women choose to become a surrogate?

Surrogacy is popular for those who can't conceive children in the 'natural way'. The most common reason people opt for a surrogate is when the woman is missing a uterus. It can absent from birth (Mullerian agenesis) or may have been surgically removed (hysterectomy for life-saving reasons, such as excessive bleeding during a caesarean). Also women who've suffered multiple miscarriages, or who have failed repeated IVF attempts for unexplained reasons. Surrogacy is also an effective treatment option for gay couples and single men.

Women who agree to become surrogates may do so for compassionate reasons. This includes a sister, mother or close friend of the couple. They may also do so for financial remuneration this could be a woman, with or without children, known or unknown to the couple, who rents her womb for a fee.

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