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Hum Reprod. 2010 Apr;25(4):938-41. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq008. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Sharing motherhood: biological lesbian co-mothers, a new IVF indication.

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Institute of Reproduction CEFER, Member of ANACER, Marquesa de Vilallonga, 12. Desp 21, 08017 Barcelona, Spain.



We herein present the initial experiences of the CEFER Institute of Reproduction in the formation of a new family model: two biological mothers, lesbians, one who provides the eggs and the other who carries the embryo in her womb. We have called this family model ROPA (Reception of Oocytes from PArtner). It is a pioneer event in Spain and among the first at a worldwide level.


Fourteen lesbian couples have undergone treatment using the ROPA technique. This paper briefly describes the technique. Six pregnancies have been obtained from 13 embryo transfers. There were two miscarriages and there are three ongoing pregnancies, one of them twins. One healthy female baby was born. The following aspects are addressed: (i) legal status of lesbian couples in Western countries; (ii) the lesbian couple's access to assisted reproduction techniques; (iii) ethical aspects; (iv) medical acceptability; and (v) single mother versus lesbian mothers.


In countries where the ROPA technique is legal, it offers lesbian couples a more favourable route, involving both partners, to start a family, and doctors who treat lesbian couples must be sensitive to this new family model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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