Now, before you go crying incest, the story is a little more complicated than it sounds.
Samuel Leighton-Dore is a 24-year-old gay man who desperately wants to start a family with his partner, Bradley Tennant. In order for Leighton-Dore and Tennant to both play a genetic role in the makeup of their child, Leighton-Dore wants to use an egg from his sister to match with sperm from Tennant.
“Call me selfish, call me vain, call me gross – but I can’t think of anything more spine-tinglingly spectacular than finding cheeky glimmers of my parents in the face and personality of my child,” Leighton-Dore tells Mamamia.
Leighton-Dore admits that even his mother has had difficultly wrapping her head around the arrangement.
“My mother still gets a little confused when she tries to explain the process to concerned friends and family. She still grimaces kindly. She still tilts her head disconcertingly to the side as she clarifies, with caution, how her only two children plan on one day making her only grandchild – erm, together.”
But Leighton-Dore doesn’t understand what the big issue is.
While his sister plans to donate her egg to the process, she will not carry the child and the couple will instead undergo IVF treatments.
“She won’t be carrying the baby – just offering up the bun for another yet-to-be-determined woman’s oven,” he jokes.
The plan was hatched at a family function after the two had indulged in a few drinks.
“To my surprise, she squealed in delight at the prospect. ‘Let’s do it!’ she said, before I was forced to explain that I’m currently a little busy tap-dancing along the poverty line to actually take formulated steps in making another dependent human being. This was all theoretical, this was laying the groundwork – this was planning for the future.”
Unsurprisingly, many have criticized Leighton-Dore’s intentions, suggesting he adopt or seek out a less controversial option, but he disagrees.
“Without devaluing those who choose to adopt or go down one of many alternative IVF pathways, I want a child who can see where he or she came from when they look up at their parents. And yeah, our family story might have a few extra narrative beats, a few extra laughs, and a few extra challenges. But one thing’s for sure, when the time comes – it’ll always be told with unconditional love.”
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