Two Dads Make a Baby


baby mouseThe day has finally come. Scientists have figured out how to put an end to nine months of backaches, cankles, and the complete destruction of our lady parts for the sake of the propagation of the species. They helped two dads make a baby.

Well, two mouse dads anyway. In a completely convoluted process that had something to do with the X chromosomes on boy DNA and the Y chromosomes on another boy's DNA, University of Texas geneticists just made mothers obsolete! Let's go drink the wine we couldn't have for nine whole months! Wait, what? Obsolete?

It's a simplification, but that's what they're working toward. The dads supply the genetic material, and while technically they had a female mouse to carry the babies, she wasn't mom. She was just a vessel. It's not a huge jump to wonder how soon they'll make the leap that will drop her from the equation entirely. Is this the beginning of the end for Mom?

Five seconds ago, I was kvelling. Now, not so much. This is an amazing scientific breakthrough for mousekind, sure, but I'm suddenly wondering how great this path really is for Moms. Most of the mothers I know are not going to let this one go without a fight. Sorry, ladies, but we're just too controlling to let this happen.

Take the comments on an article I wrote recently about letting dads have the final say on circumcision. I was surprised to see Mom after Mom weigh in not on whether she's yay or nay on cutting (that came too -- and ladies, I get that), but to say they wouldn't let ANYONE make that decision for their kids. Really? Anyone? Not even someone else who has just as much of an investment in your child as you do?

Now imagine those women having to hand over the whole process. Making the baby, carrying the baby ... letting him eat what he wants, take the medicine he wants. What if he dyes his hair or has a propensity for stinky cheeses? Quelle horreur!

I can dig it. I'm a forward-thinking feminist who considers what happens in my household to be as close to sharing the load as possible when the male parent works outside the home and the female parent works at home. But I have to sit on my hands sometimes lest I throw them out and grab a scarf and throw it on our daughter when he's walking her out to school in the morning. I've been known to grab a book and stare at it studiously without taking in a single word just so he doesn't see my judgmental face while he disciplines in a way I never would. It's hard to give up control!

On the other hand, we must face that in technical terms, it's already happening; moms who adopt don't get to carry their kids or provide a genetic link, and some are just fine with that. It doesn't make them love their kids less. And I'd love for my gay friends to not just become parents but have the chance to be the biological parents of their kids ... both of them.

Scientists are pretty clear that one mouse with two dads today does not mean hundreds of human babies with dual daddies tomorrow. For one thing, they still need that female carrier -- even if she doesn't supply the genetic material. That means pregnancy is still the woman's job ... even if she's not the Mom. The science itself is also plagued by numerous troubles -- not least that the progeny of parents from the same gender seem plagued by cancer.

Would you be able to hand over babymaking to the guys?


Image via audreyjm529/Flickr

fathers, is it normal


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ethan... ethans_momma06

I don't see this as handing it over to men. After all if there IS a fertile man AND woman, it would seem pretty needless (and probably way less fun) to have a future child have two dads. However in cases where there is no other woman (think male homosexual couple), or no fertile woman... this could be a great procreation option.

I'm never sure how I feel about advancements in reproductive science like this. One thing I know is, and that's that this DEFINITELY needs to be reaserched FULLY before made available.

mom2b... mom2boys1997

I want to see a man be pregnant and push a baby out of their body!

nonmember avatar Allboys

The saying "just because you can doesn't mean you should" comes to mind. I just don't understand why this was done. In what actual practical purpose can this advancement be used to serve humanity as a whole? There are so many things this funding could have been better used for. I understand that's not how research works but this is just to much for me. The only thing I can see as the purpose for this is so that the scientist can simply say they were the ones who actually did it.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Yea right! I liked being pregnant so much I have thought about surrogacy.

RanaA... RanaAurora

It would allow gay men to have their own biological children through a surrogate, which is fantastic. Though I AM left still thinking that adopting is a wonderful option...

littl... littlelambe

If two men can't make a baby without intervention, they needn't make a baby at all. This disgusts me.

nonmember avatar someGuy

I am a gay man and this is exciting for homosexual couples who want both parents genetic material in a child. (I think adoption is a bit more selfless personally but to each their own)...
HOWEVER this science is not by any means just for homosexuals... Think ANY male or female that is sterile and wants children. Or a person who suffers a traumatic injury or even sickness and can no longer reproduce. What if you yourself developed cancer and had to have all of your reproductive organs removed (since this seems to be mostly women...) and all your eggs were damaged. This technology is your only hope at more children who are genetically your own. And maybe you dont want more children but there are people out there who do! I understand homosexuality may disgusts some, and I hate and regret that but I can respect it... The question at hand is whether that disgust is worth forfeiting the ability to procreate to anyone who lacks and/or has been stripped the ability to do so.
Personally I think everyone deserves the right be a parent by whatever method they choose and to parent along side who ever they choose or don't choose.
Anyways... Writing a paper on the research for my college english class when I found this blog and just wanted to share some light on the topic as some of the comments seemed a bit "narrow" and I mean no disrespect to anyones beliefs with the word narrow. Only that one must look at all potential benefits of a technology before dismissing it.

brandyj brandyj

Keep perverting nature, Scientists....  just great.  Aren't there enough babies on this planet?!?  I'm sorry, but it is just pure selfishness for infertile couples to refuse to adopt because they just HAVE to make a baby with their DNA. It is a product of our wretched, entitlement-minded society! Life does not go by our plans, or even what we would like to have just goes on. There is so much need out there, and it makes me want to PUKE that there are children crying themselves to sleep tonight for want of someone to love them...but those who could adopt them are spending $10,000 a pop on IVF treatments and this bullshit research!!

LadyC... LadyCNote

I've thought about this before actually and I think it's interesting that science had progressed enough to actually be able to do it.  Honestly I think that for people who can't have a baby together based off either gender, disease or infertility this is an amazing breath through.  

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