Three's a crowd

A controversial concept to many, the aim was specifically to help prevent certain genetic diseases being passed on to children. 

02 Nov 2017
"Three colleagues meeting with one taking writing.

In 2015, Britain became the first country in the world to allow "three parent" babies.

Healthy DNA from a second woman is used to replace faulty DNA in a mother's egg, meaning that a baby would inherit genes from two mothers and one father.

The "second mother" retains anonymity and has no rights or responsibilities in relation to the child. In fact, the use of the term "three party babies" is something of a misnomer because the donor DNA makes up less than 0.2% of the child's total DNA. 

There are many who view this medical intervention as a step too far, even where it helps guard against genetic disease. However, in the Ukraine, doctors have taken matters a step further and have now used the same "three parent" technique to treat two women suffering from infertility.

For many women, infertility is an incurable illness which has a devastating impact on their lives and they would argue that medical advances should be able to help them in the same way that it can help prevent genetic disease.

This is not a debate which has yet been played out in this country and the laws here are currently limited to assisting the prevention of genetic diseases.‎ However, Britain has certainly been progressive in this area which is in stark contrast to our laws on surrogacy, another means of assisting couples overcome childlessness, which continue to lag behind a number of our international counterparts.


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