Sunday 17 December 2017

Same-sex couple believed to be first to have triplets using both fathers' DNA

Theo and Christo Menelaou cuddle their new babies Credit: SKY NEWS
Theo and Christo Menelaou cuddle their new babies Credit: SKY NEWS

Charlotte Krol

A same sex couple in South Africa have become fathers to triplets who share both fathers' DNA, after a surrogate agreed to bear their children.

Sky News reported that Theo and Christo Menelaou, who were friends and neighbours of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, met the surrogate at a neighbourhood meeting that took place in the wake of Pistroius' trial.

In a rare case of shared parenthood, both men are biological fathers, with one egg each having been fertilised with a different dad's DNA.

Doctors had advised to terminate two of the babies during the pregnancy, after they discovered that one of the eggs had split and the surrogate was pregnant with triplets.

However the fathers decided against taking the advice and the babies were born prematurely in early July, weighing each only a little over a kilogramme, and one of them still requires heart surgery in the coming months.

But after weeks in hospital, all three children are home with their happy parents in Pretoria, fitted with alarms to monitor their breathing and supported by two nurses.

According to Sky News, the Menelaous are believed to be the first same sex couple in South Africa, possibly in the world, to have triplets - two girls and a boy - which include identical twins, using a surrogate.

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