Now You Can Have 2 Biological Fathers?

The good news: scientists have found a way for a two gay daddies to have children. The bad news: right now it only works on mice.

With stem cell technology, Texas researchers managed to get two male mice to donate their genetic material to an offspring. I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT EITHER. Of course they’re more concerned with helping endangered species reproduce, not the gays having kids, but whatevs. Explains

In the work reported today, the Behringer team manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were injected into blastocysts from donor female mice. The treated blastocysts were transplanted into surrogate mothers, which gave birth to female XO/XX chimeras having one X chromosome from the original male mouse fibroblast. The female chimeras, carrying oocytes derived from the XO cells, were mated with normal male mice. Some of the offspring were male and female mice that had genetic contributions from two fathers.

According to the authors, “Our study exploits iPS cell technologies to combine the alleles from two males to generate male and female progeny, i.e. a new form of mammalian reproduction.” The technique described in this study could be applied to agriculturally important animal species to combine desirable genetic traits from two males without having to outcross to females with diverse traits. “It is also possible that one male could produce both oocytes and sperm for self-fertilization to generate male and female progeny,” the scientists point out. Such a technique could be valuable for preserving species when no females remain.

In the future, it may also be possible to generate human oocytes from male iPS cells in vitro. Used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization, this would eliminate the need for female XO/XX chimeras, although a surrogate mother would still be needed to carry the two-father pregnancy to term.

Alas, it means two gay daddies still need a mommy to have the babies, but who else is excited to see what family court is going to look like in thirty years? Two biological dads can fight for custody with the biological mother. FUN!

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  • 7sk

    excited for this

  • Cam

    “Two biological dads can fight for custody with the biological mother.”

    Actually you’re wrong. The two dads would be the biological fathers. The female would only be a surrogate, an incubator, she would have no biological relation to the child and therefore no claim on it.

  • Sean

    Legally this should be equivalent to a straight couple using a surrogate with egg donation. Of course it’s rather theoretical at the moment; this is only the first step, which is to show that (with some extremely careful manipulation) it’s possible to produce eggs from a man’s genome.

  • ktbisl32

    Hm, now for women please and thank you. This adds a whole new meaning to the feminist decry of womens’ power being related to childbirth as a womens’ space.

  • F

    @ktbisl32: What?!

  • Ken S

    This is interesting from a scientific standpoint, but… I can’t help thinking… aren’t we the species with the ‘free will’ and the sophistication to define ourselves beyond mere biology? So theoretically, in the not-too-distant future two men could maybe pay out the ass for a complicated medical intervention yielding a child that has both their DNA. So what? If they want to raise a kid together they could adopt one and raise it together, or they could employ surrogacy and raise it together. They might not both be its biological parents, but placing so much focus on whose genes it’s carrying detracts from the cultural conception that *love*- not blood- makes a family. If two men love each other and love the child they’re raising, DNA is secondary- they’re a family.

    Frankly, to me this kinda smacks on some level of pandering to the religious nuts who argue (wrongly) that our families aren’t ‘real’ or aren’t legitimate because “two men can’t make a baby.” Instead of saying “fuck you, you are *wrong,* we are a family because we choose to be” this concedes ground to them and tries to impress them with some trick of medical science. But that’s never impressed them, and they won’t care; they’ll still spout their ignorant “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” bullshit and they’ll still say that we’re abominations and that we shouldn’t be allowed to raise children because we’ll ‘perversely influence’ them. We shouldn’t accept their framing of the debate, we should go with what we know is right and fight for it just as vigorously, so that they’re relegated to the “extinct, backwards fringe lunatics” chapter of history.

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