Bliss (l) and Ashleigh (r) Coulter with son Stetson
Another chapter in the Reproductive Revolution. Lesbian couples who want a child face a challenge if they want to share the experience of and responsibility for bearing a child. The usual solution is “reciproval IVF” -- one woman provides the eggs, an anonymous donor provides the sperm, and the other woman gestates the child.
But a same-sex married couple in Texas came up with a novel idea with the help of an innovative IVF clinic. Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter discovered that CARE Fertility Clinic could perform “Effortless Reciprocal IVF”. With this process, the egg and sperm are combined in a capsule which is then placed in a woman's vagina to simulate the conditions in a laboratory incubator.
Bliss was the host of the capsule for five days. It was then removed, with at least three embryos inside. These were frozen for about 10 days while Ashleigh was prepped for the pregnancy. When she was ready, an embryo was inserted. In June Ashleigh gave birth to a son, Stetson. ““Wow, we both got to carry the baby,” said Ashleigh.
The unique procedure was a perfect fit for the needs of the couple: “Bliss wanted to have her own biological child but she didn’t want to carry,” Ashleigh told The Daily Beast. “I always wanted to have a baby and wanted to be pregnant and carry.”
"It feels more natural for parents and it gives them a unique bond with their baby,” says the women’s IVF specialist, Dr Kathy Doody. Since this success, another lesbian couple has given birth using the same technique at the CARE Fertility Clinic.
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