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One twin pregnancy from two different fathers

Up until around 2018, many of the gay couple surrogacy processes in the United States culminated in the birth of twins. This type of process is almost impossible in other countries (either due to legal or insurance reasons) and it actually enables a male couple to bring twins into the world with the help of a surrogate, where each twin is genetically related to the same egg donor and to one of the fathers. Genetically, the twins are half-siblings that are carried in the same pregnancy and enable both fathers to be biological parents in one pregnancy.

This is the widespread fantasy, and that’s what most of us have done. My twin girls are also from me and my spouse, and both were born thanks to the same egg donor and in one pregnancy. At the time, there was little awareness of medical difficulties, there were no insurance issues and so it was very popular.

Around 2018, American insurance companies started making it difficult to purchase insurance (ACA- ObamaCare) for surrogacy babies if the parents weren’t U.S. residents or citizens and had no intention of being residents. The lack of insurance options places the parents at financial risk since there is a chance that they will be exposed to massive debt (the costs of NICU in the United States are very high and when twins are involved, it’s double). So, over the years, increasingly more parents preferred to avoid the financial risk and to build their family in a split process.

No less important than the financial consideration, it’s important to remember that a twin pregnancy is higher risk than a singelton pregnancy and entails a greater chance of bed rest and premature birth, complications during the birth, and of course long-term medical consequences.

So… twins’ pregnancy from two fathers, how it’s done?

To simplify the details: It starts with providing sperm from the two fathers. Then, when the eggs are retrieved from the egg-donor the embryologist splits all the eggs among the two fathers and fertilizes them with each male’s sperm separately.

At the embryo transfer stage, the doctor will transfer two embryos to the surrogate’s womb - one from each father. If both embryos are implanted successfully then the male couple will have genetically related twins (since they are both from the same egg donor), and each of the embryos will be genetically related to one of the fathers.

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