Colchester couple Jasmine and Donna Francis-Smith have become one of the first couples in the UK to deliver a baby conceived with the ‘shared motherhood’ procedure
Gorgeous baby Otis was conceived with an embryo consisting of Donna’s egg and a donor sperm. Donna incubated the embryo for a period, and then it was implanted into Jasmine, who carried the pregnancy to term.
Plenty of babies have been born as the result of artificial incubation, but Otis is one of the first in the country to have had both parents participate in the procedure. Donna and Jasmine are also one of the first to have gone public with their good news.
Lance Cpl Donna Francis-Smith, 30, is thrilled with her new son. She told The UK Telegraph: “We’re overwhelmed to be honest, it’s blown up massively. You get a lot of same-sex couples where one person is doing the whole thing, and the one person is getting pregnant and giving birth, whereas with this we’re both involved in a massive way. 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.”
Shared motherhood is a relatively new procedure, and it could be game changing for lesbian couples
Jasmine, 28, said that the option for both parents to carry their baby made them feel “equal in the whole process.”
The couple were fortunate in that their first round of IVF was a success. “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.”
The London Women’s Clinic is one of a few select clinics in the country that offer shared motherhood (also known as intra-partner egg donation)
On their website, they state that it is fast becoming the most requested and popular procedure for lesbian couples. “By using IVF, one partner donates eggs to her partner and is the ‘biological mother’, whilst the other partner carries the baby and experiences the pregnancy as the ‘birth mother’. This enables motherhood to be a shared experience right from conception.”
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