Jasmine Francis-Smith and Donna Francis-Smith are the proud parents of their two-month-old son, Otis Francis-Smith. What makes their parenthood story unique is how Otis was born. Jasmine and Donna both shared the experience of growing Otis in both their wombs. A new In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique allowed Otis to be fertilised in Donna's womb. After which, Otis was transferred to Jasmine's womb where he was brought to term.
The couple approached the London Women's Clinic because they were prepared to give birth to their own child. Jasmine and Donna were given the chance to experience a "shared motherhood" like never before.
Hundreds of same-sex couples opt for IVF as a method of becoming parents. Usually, the eggs are fertilised artificially before being transferred to a womb. However, in the case of Jasmine and Donna, the fertilisation process took place in Donna's womb.
Swiss technology company Anecova developed the process called AneVivo. The donor sperm and Donna's egg were put in a capsule and put back into Donna's body for the fertilisation process. After around 18 hours, the fertilised egg was removed from Donna's womb and transferred to Jasmine's.
Jasmine brought the fertilised egg to term and gave birth to their son in September.
Lance corporal Donna and dental nurse Jasmine welcomed Otis in Colchester, Essex, where the family is now based.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Donna and Jasmine shared the excitement of becoming new mothers. Jasmine spoke about how lucky she felt that their first attempt at IVF was a successful one. In most cases, IVF takes a few attempts before the egg is successfully fertilised.
Donna told the press that the experience of shared motherhood managed to bring them closer together. Instead of one partner experiencing the process of childbirth, both the mothers played a major role in Otis' birth.
The successful attempt resulting in the birth of the healthy boy is a sign that more same sex couples can share the experience of motherhood.