What Will They Think of Next? Baby Born in Dallas to Woman without Uterus

Recently, a woman in Texas born without a uterus gave birth to a child. (https://tinyurl.com/yaangd5q) According to the article, there have been at least 16 uterus transplants, the first one in Sweden, several years ago.

There are many women who do not have a uterus. Some are born without, while others lack a uterus because of medical reasons. Previously, a woman without a uterus who wanted to build a family would have had to rely upon adoption or some form of assisted reproduction technology by traditional surrogacy or gestational carrier arrangement. Now, she may carry herself!

Let me explain a few terms and concepts.

Traditional surrogacy refers to a contractual arrangement whereby a woman agrees to have her egg fertilized with the intended father’s sperm, or donor sperm. When the child is born, Massachusetts requires the child be adopted by the intended parents, which cures the parentage question. Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 210 § 2. In Massachusetts, the surrogate’s parental rights may not be terminated by contract. R.R. v. M.H., 426 Mass. 501(1998).

A gestational carrier is a woman who agrees to have an in vitro fertilized embryo, to which she has no genetic relationship, implanted into her uterus, and carry to term. The gestational carrier agrees to relinquish her parental rights upon the birth of the child. The egg and/or the sperm may be the intended parents or donated. Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts recognize intended parents as the legal parents and issue pre-birth orders. Culliton v. Beth Isr. Deaconess Med. Ctr., 435 Mass. 285 (2001). No subsequent adoption is needed.

Uterus donors may be dead or alive. Prior to the transplant, the woman’s eggs are retrieved, fertilized and the embryos frozen. The embryos are not implanted until at least a year has passed since the transplant, to ensure the womb is functioning as it should. The baby is delivered by a cesarean section. A transplanted uterus must not remain permanent because of the potent drugs required to avoid organ rejection.

If there is no success in the back seat of Daddy’s Lincoln, and the dependable turkey baster is just not reliable enough, good old-fashioned research has found another way. We have come a long way, baby!!!!!

Kudos to Attorney Peggy Swain of Maryland, the AAARTA Director, who shared the Cullman Times Article on the Academy Listserv.

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