In a first-of-its-kind development, a British lesbian couple have become the first parents to have a baby carried in both of their wombs, which is being hailed as a landmark “shared motherhood” procedure.
Jasmine Francis-Smith gave birth to Otis, their son, two months ago, using an egg that was implanted using IVF or In vitro fertilisation procedure but after it was first incubated by her wife, Donna.
The treatment was offered by a clinic in London called London Women’s Clinic. The procedure involves one partner contributing and incubating the egg, while the other subsequently carries the foetus.
Lance Cpl Donna Francis-Smith, 30, from Nottinghamshire, told The Telegraph: “We’re overwhelmed to be honest, it’s blown up massively.”
While more than 100 babies have been born to lesbian couples using artificial incubation, this is the first time that both the parents are seen participating.
“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. 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,” said Donna.
Jasmine, 28, a dental nurse from Northamptonshire, gave birth to their son on Sept 30 in Colchester, Essex, where the family now lives.
The couple said that the procedure made them feel “equal in the whole process”.
Jasmine said, “We’re really fortunate that this was our first go at IVF, but the reality is that it doesn’t work first time for a lot of people.”
Donna has been in the Army for 11 years, serving for one tour of Afghanistan as well as being stationed in Cyprus. While in Cyprus, the couple met through online dating and married in April 2018.