May 6, 2024

UK lesbian couple swap embryos and carry each other’s child 

Another dispatch from the Reproductive Revolution. A lesbian couple in the United Kingdom have successfully given birth to two boys through simultaneous reciprocal IVF. Both of the women used the same sperm donor, but they swapped embryos so that they gestated their partner’s baby. They explained that this variant of surrogacy will help them feel a special bond with their partner’s child. 

The two women, Emily Patrick, 38, and Kerry Osborn, 35, named their sons Elvis and Ezra. As reported in the Daily Mail, Emily explained: “We decided to do it this way, we’d never heard of anyone doing it this way, we just thought it would be really lovely to share each other’s journey, being pregnant at the same time. And even though we are not genetically connected to the other child, we still share that bond.”

They found choosing a sperm donor difficult. They wanted one who resembled them. Kerry said: “There was no great ceremony, it was a Thursday night and we started swiping through sperm banks. The problem is that once you start, you can’t stop, there is so much choice. We chose a man about our own age who had two children and was donating for altruistic reasons – there were people in his family struggling with infertility and he wanted to help others.”

This seems to be the first case of simultaneous reciprocal IVF in the UK, but Kerry hopes that eventually it will be considered normal:

“We recognise that even a few years ago, this kind of reciprocal IVF wouldn’t have been an option. It wasmuch harder to be gay parents. It says a lot about how far opinions have evolved that not only can we dothis, but that so many people from the LGBTQ+ community are now following our progress and thinkingabout doing it too.”