John M. Becker

Same-Sex Couples May Soon Be Able to Produce Biological Children

Filed By John M. Becker | February 24, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: babies, LGBT parenting, parenting, same-sex parenting, stem cells

Same-gender couples who wish to have children have several options available to them, including adoption, surrogacy, and sperm donation. But soon, British scientists say they may have another choice: producing biological children together.

CBS Atlanta reports:

A stem cell research breakthrough achieved by Cambridge University shows the first fully "manufactured" baby can be created from the skin cells of two adults of the same gender - potentially opening the door to same-sex couples having their own babies.

Researchers from Cambridge University teamed with Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science to pair stem cell lines from embryos with the skin of five different adults, according to the study published in the journal Cell. The medical experiment was previously successful in creating live baby mice but this marks the first study on humans in which the engineered cells created in the laboratory were compared to aborted fetuses to determine an identical match...

The team says it is possible to make human egg and sperm cells from the skin of two adults of the same gender - prompting interest from people with infertility diseases and gay couples.

"It has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex," Jacob Hanna, the specialist leading the project's Israeli arm, said to the Sunday Times.

The researchers noted to the Sunday Times that the development raises serious ethical issues, but many can potentially benefit from the technique they've been testing on humans since creating artificial human eggs and sperm for the first time last year.

Hanna told the Daily Mail that the technique could be used to create a baby in as little as two years.

What do you think -- is this potentially a good thing for same-sex couples, or do the risks (including potentially opening the door for genetically-engineered humans down the road) outweigh the benefits? If this process became a reality, and an affordable one, would you consider conceiving a child with a same-sex spouse or partner in this way?

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