Cecile Eledge, a 61-year-old woman, has become a mother and grandmother at the same time giving birth to little Uma, whom she managed to help her son Matthew and her husband, Elliot, to fulfill his dream of being parents. The case of this family from Nebraska (United States) delves into the ethical dilemmas of the so-called surrogate mothers or surrogate gestation, to which, in this case, the age of the pregnant woman is added. The baby is the fruit of an egg donated by Elliot's sister, who was inseminated with Matthew's sperm, and was born on Monday.
"If you want me to be the pregnant woman, I'll do it in a heartbeat," Cecile offered two years ago, when one of her three children, Matthew, told her about her plans to start a family, according to what they say. Buzzfeed.news. Matthew Eledge, 32, and Elliot Dougherty, 29, had spent years saving for the process, which they estimate has cost them $ 40,000 alone in in vitro fertilization, plus the medical expenses of pregnancy and childbirth.
What the couple initially understood as a joke became a reality when they began meeting with specialists in assisted reproduction to discuss the options they had. Matthew mentioned his mother's offer, and the doctor, Carolyn Maud Doherty, considered it seriously. Despite being a woman already postmenopausal, Cecile had always been, in the words of her son, a fan of health. The team at the Methodist Hospital for Women in Omaha, the city where the couple lives, did a series of tests -citology, blood tests, cholesterol, stress, mammography, ultrasound- that showed that she was healthy enough. to spend a pregnancy.
The doctors warned him of the risks associated with his age, which included lung problems, blood clots and a greater chance that the delivery would end in cesarean section. However, Cecile became pregnant at the first attempt to transfer the embryo, had a normal pregnancy, although with more nausea than she remembers in her previous pregnancies, and gave birth naturally.
The couple has wanted to make public their story to show that a family like yours can grow even in the heart of the most conservative United States. Nebraska does not have state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, Matthew was fired in 2015 from his position as an English teacher at a Catholic private high school in Omaha when he reported that he planned to marry another man.
Although unusual, the case of Cecile Eledge is not the first in which a woman gives birth to her own grandchild, is not even the oldest. In 1987, Pat Anthony, 48, gave birth to the triplets of his daughter in South Africa. In 1996, Edith Jones, 51, became the first grandmother for rent From United Kingdom, by helping his daughter and son-in-law become parents. In 2016, the Greek Anastassia Ontou became, at 67, in the older woman known to gestate for another person, in this case also her daughter.
These altruistic examples are contrasted with the most frequent cases, in which couples who can not have children resort to women to manage a baby in exchange for an economic consideration. In Spain, this practice is illegal, so hundreds of couples come every year, through intermediary companies, to other countries with more permissive legislation to carry out the process. The party that has most defended the surrogacy in Spain is Citizens. The other parties are uncomfortable with this practice.
(Photos courtesy of Ariel Panowicz (arielfried.com)