Two-womb baby born to UK lesbian couple
A lesbian couple in the UK have become the first to have a two-womb baby in a landmark “shared motherhood” procedure.
The baby, Otis, was born to Jasmine Francis-Smith last September 30 using an egg that was implanted using IVF after being first incubated by her partner, Donna.
Lesbian parents and the two-womb baby
The procedure was carried out by the London Women’s Clinic, with one female partner giving and incubating the egg. Meanwhile, the other partner carries the fetus.
Previously, more than a 100 babies have been born to lesbian couples using artificial incubation. This procedure goes further with both parents involved.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Lance Corporal Donna Francis-Smith said: “We’re overwhelmed to be honest, it’s blown up massively.”
“It’s definitely brought us closer together emotionally. We’re a close couple anyway but we both have a special bond with Otis as well which was helped by the way we’ve done it,” she said.
Jasmine, a dental nurse, said: “We’re really fortunate that this was our first go at IVF, but the reality is that it doesn’t work first time for a lot of people.”
A complete family: two mothers, one baby
When asked how the baby was doing, Donna said of Otis: ““He’s really good– he’s just chilling out. He’s a really good boy.”
“Jasmine said he’s going to be an astronaut, but he can be whatever he wants to be. We’ll always support him in whatever he wants to do,” she added.
“Now with baby Otis born safe and well, we feel a true family. If we had to go through the process again there is nothing we would change,” Jasmine said.
The couple were married in April of 2018 after meeting in 2014 through online dating. Prior to that, Donna had been in the Army for 11 years, serving in Afghanistan and being stationed in Cyprus.
The procedure for the two-womb baby
The medical director at the clinic, Nick Macklon, said that this is the first time that the wombs of both mothers were involved.
“It’s very exciting because it means that for lesbian couples wanting to have babies together both of them can be involved in actively creating the embryo and then creating the baby,” Macklon said.
In the procedure, the egg is incubated in one partner’s uterus for the first 18 hours after it’s fertilized. Afterward, the egg is transferred to the second partner’s womb for the duration of the pregnancy.
Advocates for the “shared motherhood” procedure say this gives both partners a practical and emotional stake in the pregnancy. It also gives the embryo with additional nutrients.
“We’re just happy that it’s worked so well and the information is out there. It will help people in the future– it brings you closer together rather than feeling one has a bond more than the other,” Donna said.