A same-sex couple from South Africa have become the world’s first couple to have triplets, including identical twins, via a surrogate.
The babies were born by caesarian at just 31 weeks in Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg. on July 2. Only very recently have the new dads, Christo and Theo Menelaou, taken their kids back home to Pretoria, after a difficult couple of weeks at the hospital.
First to be discharged was Joshua (who had been also the first of the triplets born, at 4 pounds) on July 22; 10 days later came Zoe (who had been born second, at 3.1 pounds); and finally her twin Kate on August 4 (who had been born last, at 2.9 pounds).
In a strange twist, the dads, who were friends and neighbors of notorious athlete Oscar Pistorius, met their surrogate because of Pistorius’ murder trial: they met after a group of neighbors got together after the trial, when someone introduced the gay couple to their future surrogate.
According to an article in Sky News, two of the triplets are identical twins. Two eggs had been implanted, one fertilized with Theo’s genetic material, one with Christo’s. When doctors discovered that one of the eggs had split and the surrogate was now pregnant with triplets, they advised to terminate two of the three pregnancies to give the remaining embryo the best chance of survival. The fathers-to-be, however, decided against taking the advice and eventually found a gynecologist who was willing to help them deliver all three babies.
A team of over 20 surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists were all present as the babies were being born, with a separate medical team for each baby.
One of the triplets will require heart surgery sometime in the fairly near future.
Christo Menelaou told Sky News about the concerns they had about adoption as well as surrogacy: “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."
Theo adds, ”We feel so blessed. We really do.”
Gays With Kids wishes the two dads and their three beautiful kids nothing but happiness!