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New research could lead to same-sex biological parents

Joseph McCormick December 23, 2015

New research suggests that same-sex couples could be closer than ever to becoming biological parents to children.

The new fertilisation technique, which has as yet not been attempted using human cells, could in theory form a sperm cell from a woman’s stem cell or an egg cell from a man’s cells.

The cells would be made using stem cells to form gametes, or sex cells.

Research on the procedure is taking place at geneticists at George Washington University, has been published in the Journal of Law and Biosciences.

The technique can also go further, described as “multiplex parenting”, including children with more than two parents, or just one biological parent.

A new born baby takes the finger of his mother after the delivery, on September 17, 2013 at the Lens hospital, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A new born baby takes the finger of his mother after the delivery, on September 17, 2013 at the Lens hospital, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking on the technique, called in vitro gametogenesis, Dr Sonia Suter said it could be used in place of other techniques for fertility treatment.

Dr George Ndkwe, the medical director at London based fertility clinic Zita West, said the procedure is “wonderful science”.

He went on to say that it could permanently alter what it means to parent a child.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, he said: “There are possible uses of it, which in my opinion can be useful. “For instance, for somebody who has no sperm at all or a woman who has no egg, if you can use any of their cells to create sperm or eggs then they can have treatment, so to use it in that way specifically for treatment, in my opinion may have some benefits.

“It would completely challenge our notion of parenthood with very complex legal implications. That’s where it gets very scary.”

Researchers from Cambridge University earlier this year found that it is possible to make a baby using cells from two same-sex parents.

Recently, MPs voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man.

More: biological, Parenting, same sex parents

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