A British lesbian couple have become the first in their country to deliver a baby that was incubated in both of their wombs.
The “shared motherhood” procedure involves Donna and Jasmine Francis-Smith (pictured) both carrying the fertilised egg during the course of their IVF pregnancy.
Donna’s egg was retrieved, fertilised and placed back into her womb inside a capsule for 18 hours. It was then transferred to Jasmine for the rest of the pregnancy.
Jasmine then gave birth to Baby Otis in September.
Donna told the UK’s Telegraph, “You get a lot of same-sex couples where one person is doing the whole thing, the one person is getting pregnant and giving birth.
“With this, we’re both involved in a massive way.
“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.
“It’s my egg, and then they did the egg collection from me and then put it back into my body for 18 hours before being put into Jasmine’s body, and she became pregnant.”
‘A pratical and emotional stake in the pregnancy’
More than 100 babies have been born to lesbian couples through the process. However, the Francis-Smiths’ case is unique.
The London Women’s Clinic, where Otis was born, says incubating the embryo in the first partner’s womb “gives both partners a practical and emotional stake in the pregnancy.”
“[The procedure] also provides the embryo with important nutrients and other components in a natural, maternal environment,” the clinic explains.
The happy lesbian couple and their newborn live in Essex. Donna, who has served in the British army for 11 years, said Otis has been a “dream baby”.
“He’s really good. He’s just chilling out. He’s a really good boy,” she said.
“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.
“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.”
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