Three parent families… Genetically

I wrote this post on QueerLandia yesterday hoping that it would generate some discussion, but it hasn’t so I thought I would blog it here, and add some more too it as well, in the hope it generates more discussion.

I saw this in the news a couple of weeks ago, and have been meaning to blog about it for a little while. I am hoping it generates a discussion….

The news reported that some scientific trials to make three parent embryos have taken place, and the UK has now launched a consultation on the matter.

The trials have been coined ‘three-parent in vitro fertilisation’ (IVF) because the offspring would have genes from a mother, a father and from a female donor, who donates some of her DNA.

The original purpose is to prevent some genetic diseases from being passed on. In particular mitochondrial diseases that are passed on genetically through the maternal line and are incurable. So they take out the culprit DNA and replace it with the female donors DNA.

One reporter poses the following questions about this:

how is a child born from this sort of technique might feel?; whether the child should be told?; whether their sense of identity might be affected?; what the rights of the female donor might be?; whether the donation of mitochondrial DNA should be viewed as similar to egg or sperm donation, or more like blood or tissue donation?; and who should decide who can access the treatments?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/three-parent-embryos-unnerve-ethicists/article4553114/ 

They claim it raises ethical issues because it is the first step to creating designer babies. I am not sure how I feel about that.

Having recently got married, babies are  definitely on my radar, I have been to a fertility show recently and the options are vast.  We both went in thinking we wanted to do it a certain way, and came out totally confused and completely unsure of how we wanted to conceive. Like did you know that a heterosexual couple only has a 10-14% of getting pregnant at any one time. Therefore the same chances can be applied to IUI (intrauterine insemination) if you do it without drugs that is. With the aid of drugs some clinics claim their chances of getting you pregnant are as high as 40%. I have to say I left feeling pretty pessimistic and naive about the whole affair. I had gone thinking it wouldn’t be a walk in the park, and would cost a lot but I certainly didn’t have any concept of how slim the chances are in relation to how much it would cost. Because its either low chances of fertility or you need to remortgage your house in order to afford it.

ANYWAY

I will be the carrier, my wife has no interest in carrying, BUT, I am desperate to have a child that is genetically both of ours. At the moment that cannot happen, or so I thought. This is why when I saw this article and heard it on the news, my ears immediately pricked up. For me the question isn’t so much about designer babies, but about the opportunities this brings to homosexual people. Does this mean that my wife and I could both parent a child??

Could two men both genetically parent a child??

Is that right? Is it ethical? Is it moral?

I want the answer to be yes, but maybe I am being selfish and only thinking about how desperate I am to carry both mine and my wifes genetic child. Is that right, should I be thinking that way? To me, it doesn’t seem like an ethical problem but a gift, and a miracle.

I would be very interested in what everyone else thought……???????

7 comments

      1. Oh I think I am going to blame it on you and say, yep I can catch it virtually LOL.. But anyway, about your blog post. I personally think this is a great idea. Not just medically speaking, of course there are all sorts of legalities that would need to be worked out. And if in fact it does work medically, then I think it would be an awesome deal for same gender couples to be able to share natural parentage of their child. Angel and I often talk about how that even though our youngest does not really have any of my genes, that she does. That I was able to put some of myself into her even though I was states away.. lol.. but really she looks like me and every one thinks she is my blood daughter. I think if science is able to successfully do this for whatever reasons they are doing it, then it is a great thing and a great oppurtunity for people to have children. With that being said, I just want to remind everyone that there are thousands, millions of children in the world who do not have homes, do not have families and do not have loving parents to call their own.

  1. Hmm. Not sure I’ll be accepting the blame for that one! But anyway, thanks for commenting, I totally agree, I would love for the wife to be a genetic parent of our future children. But yes, I agree there are many children who need loving homes, and we cant forget that. I think when we look for a donor we will look for one that looks a bit like her.

  2. When my husband and I found out he was sterile, we opted to do IUI with donor sperm. While she doesn’t have 3 sets of DNA, Baby does have a generic parent she will very likely never meet. I think it would have been awesome to e able to take the part of my husband’s genes that didn’t work out and just replace those, but since the genetic abnormality only affects fertility, I guess that wouldn’t have worked.

    1. I know, I think that its really sad that society may take away a wonderful opportunity to give families genetic children, just because its not sure its acceptable.

      Thanks for reading 😀

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