Shared embryos: Baby Henry has 2 biological parents PLUS a mum and dad

Posted in IVF.

Two families have come together in the most amazing way, with one couple donating some of their unused embryos to another couple who had spent ten years trying to conceive.

Leftover embryos

Jess and JP DiZane knew how painful trying to have a family could be. They eventually undertook IVF and now have two gorgeous children as a result.

“JP and I felt very strongly our family was complete,” Jess told the ABC’s Australian Story.

“We’re very blessed to be able to have any children, they’re both really healthy, and we’re really grateful.”

That left the couple with a decision to make. They had six spare embryos that they didn’t need to use. 

They felt strongly that they didn’t want them to be discarded, but rather that they should go to good use.

After initial hopes to donate them to science were unsuccessful due to prohibitive legislation, the couple decided that donating their embryos to others who were wanting to have babies was the best option.

“Wonderful parents”

A chance discussion with a friend over coffee led Jess (and JP!) to another couple who the friend said would make “wonderful parents”, Australian Story reveals.

Emma and Richard Austin had spent ten years going through various fertility treatments and had given up on their dreams of having a family. 

But luckily they shared this mutual friend with Jess and JP. The families met – with Jess and JP’s kiddos in tow – and bonded over their shared experience instantly. From there it was full steam ahead.

“A mandatory group counselling session followed, some paperwork for the DiZanes questioning their medical history, physical features and hobbies. And then a ‘gentleman’s handshake’ and a hope from the donors they could remain in contact with any future child,” the ABC reports.

Five months – and lots of nerves – later Emma and Richard got the news they’d been waiting more than a decade for.

“The nurse rang and she said, ‘You’re pregnant!’ It just felt so foreign even saying it, like it was scary to even say the words. I don’t know that we really believed it was going to happen,” Emma says.

Hello Henry!

Baby Henry was born in April and his mum and dad could not have been more elated.

Two weeks later, Emma and Richard introduced young Henry to Jess, JP and their kids.

The couples are being completely open about Henry’s origin with their families, and Jess and JP’s kids refer to him as their “cousin” for want of a better word.

While Jess and JP hope they can remain in Henry’s life, they explained that that’s not why they donated their embryo to Emma and Richard.

“There’s no word in the English language that describes what Jess and JP have done for us,” Emma told Australian Story.

“I will be forever grateful to them for helping us to have our son. We’ll provide Henry an amazing life, and that’s what they were looking for.”

These families are sharing their brilliant story in the hopes that it might encourage others to consider donating their embryos.

Watch the full story on tonight’s episode of Australian Story. It’s called ‘Perfect Strangers’ and it’s on at 8pm on ABCTV and also on iview.


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