What do you call two siblings, with the same genetic parents, gestated by two different women, born five days apart, raised by a father with whom they share genes, and a mother with whom they do not?
Twiblings, who were featured in last week's New York Times Magazine, in a story written by their mother, Melanie Thernstrom, about "how four women (and one man) conspired to make two babies." Melanie was 41 when she met her husband, Michael. She went through six unsuccessful rounds of in vitro fertilization before heeding a doctor's advice that, if her goal was to have a healthy baby rather than experience pregnancy, she should find a surrogate and an egg donor.
When Michael suggested that they implant embryos (created with his sperm and eggs from a donor) simultaneously into two surrogates, thus completing their family in one fell swoop, Melanie called the idea "crazy." But after finding an egg donor (whom Melanie dubbed "the Fairy Goddonor") and two gestational surrogates, Melanie and Michael did just that. The result was the twiblings, a boy and a girl.
In the article, Melanie and Michael come across as thoughtful people who adore their babies. The surrogates and "Fairy Goddonor" appear to be genuinely gratified by their part in creating a new family. Barring catastrophe, the twiblings will grow up in a solid family, with the ongoing ministrations of their surrogates (both of whom have provided breast milk via nursing and pumping) merely adding to their sense of being abundantly loved.
I'm not, for example, wondering why Melanie and Michael didn't "just adopt." As I wrote at Her.meneutics last year, the ...1
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