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First triplets with identical twins born to SA gay parents

30 August 2016
Appeared in BioNews 866

A same-sex male couple in South Africa has become the first set of parents in the country to have triplets who share both the fathers' DNA.

Theo and Christo Menelaou used their sperm to fertilise one egg each, which were then carried by a surrogate. One of the eggs divided and the couple later became the father of triplets – two girls and a boy – in July. Two of the children are also identical twins.

'When you are gay, there is always the thought that it just may not be possible to be a parent no matter how much you would love to be,' Christo Menelaou told Sky News. 'It's very hard to be accepted for adoption and we were told we would always come after heterosexual couples. And then we just never thought we'd ever find a person who would want to be surrogate to a gay couple.'

According to Sky News, the Menelaous were also friends and neighbours with Oscar Pistorius and met the surrogate through a meeting of local residents following the former Paralympian's murder trial.

A court order was also required to confirm that the surrogacy arrangement was valid under South African law and that no payments other than expenses had been paid - the judge listed originally to do this was Judge Thokozile Masipa (who presided over the Pistorius trial), but was changed shortly before the hearing.

Dr Heidra Dahms, the doctor at Sunninghill Hospital who delivered the babies, told Sky News: 'It [the birth of triplets following same-sex surrogacy] is extremely rare. I have never heard of this before.'

Gay Couple Makes History In South Africa With Birth Of Triplets
Huffington Post |  24 August 2016
Same-Sex Couple 'Blessed' With Surrogate Triplets
Sky News |  21 August 2016
South Africa same-sex couple have triplets using both fathers' DNA
The Telegraph |  21 August 2016
So, who's your daddy?
Times Live |  24 August 2016
Triplets in South Africa born to same-sex couple using DNA of both fathers
New York Daily News |  22 August 2016
18 September 2017 - by Sarah Pritchard 
A married gay male couple in Utah is challenging the state's law that says couples need to prove that a woman is unable to have children before turning to surrogacy...
21 December 2015 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
Two surrogates in the USA carrying triplets are coming under pressure from the intended parents to abort one of their fetuses...
14 September 2015 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The UK's High Court has ruled that single parents cannot apply for a parental order to become the legal parent of a child born through surrogacy...
14 November 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A High Court in South Africa has set out guidelines for judicial approaches to surrogacy arrangements in light of new family law legislation which came into force last year....
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