Guy Ringler is a board certified physician in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a partner with California Fertility Partners.
Egg donation and surrogacy allow two gay men to have children genetically related to one partner and the egg donor, but not to both. They deem it unnatural in the eyes of God. However, science is advancing and may ultimately change all of that. Stem cell research has demonstrated that human skin cells and fibroblasts a different kind of adult cell can be turned into embryonic stem cells. Now, researchers at Cambridge University and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have shown that embryonic stem cells can be programmed to form primordial germ cells.
These are the stem cells that can go on to form either eggs or sperm. Research using primordial germ cells in mice has shown that these cells can be turned into eggs and sperm capable of forming pups baby mice. Many experiments were required, but tremendous knowledge was gained. There likely will be a time when reproductive science could create an embryo from the cells of two men or two women.
Anti-gay forces will not want to hear this news, but science will continue to explore it in an attempt to explain biology.
This is the role of science in our society: Scientific breakthroughs that can help two people who are committed to having children together—regardless of their sex—are inspiring developments. Just like straight couples, many gay men and lesbians are eager to have a genetic relationship with their children. But these new scientific developments could bring that process full-circle.
There are various scientific obstacles to reaching the point where the cells of two men or two women could make a baby. There will also be ethical debates. Religious and conservative leaders around the world still vehemently oppose same sex marriage and homosexual acts, let alone a gay couple having a child of their own.
These ingredients can be as powerfully provided by a same-sex couple as they can by heterosexuals. Medical science has transformed our society for the better in so many ways.
It has helped the deaf to hear. It has cured many diseases and is pioneering the genetic targeting of agents to cure cancer. It has lengthened our lives and made them more fulfilling. And it has helped people—gay and straight, black and white, Christian, Jews, and Buddhists—to become parents. When the time comes for two men or two women to have a biological child together, we should embrace it as another positive advancement to a happier world of fulfilled lives.
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