Now here's something you don't read everyday.
Matthew Eledge and his husband Elliot Dougherty wanted children, so they began considering their options, including searching for a surrogate.
What they didn't expect was for Matthew's mother, Cecile, to be up for the job. She delivered the couple's daughter, Uma, on March 25.
Lea Yribe, Elliot's sister, supplied the egg. Matthew supplied the sperm. His mother served as the surrogate.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Matthew Eledge said:
"Sometimes even really intelligent people hear this story and think it's incest. We get really honest questions from really smart people like, 'Are you scared of the genetic abnormalities?' It's a fine question, it's a unique situation, but I think it's easiest to spell it out in layman's terms: My mother was simply the oven."
In an interview with The New York Post, he added:
"People are confused, which is normal. We got a lot of people being like, 'wait a minute, whose egg? And whose sperm? As gay men, we're so lucky to be having children at a time when people are actually celebratory of our relationship and of us being parents, and also at a time when technology allows us to have this baby, with some of Elliot's genetic material and some of my genetic material."
Cecile was in excellent health. She had already gone through menopause and underwent cardiology, pulmonary and physical tests to see if she could carry the child.
As she recalled:
"There was a part of me thinking, it will be a miracle if we pass every test, there is going to be something. I knew if I wasn't going to be a healthy candidate, I would never put the baby in jeopardy. Every time I would go talk to another doctor, whether my internist or cardiologist, they looked and said 'There's absolutely no reason you can't do this.'"
The process of carrying Uma began as a joke. The couple had always wanted to start a family but faced a tough road ahead of them as they considered IVF and adoption. When she agreed to be the gestational carrier, no one believed it could be possible.
"The bottom line is my health was good," Cecile said. "I kept thinking 60s are the new 40s, and people in their 40s are having babies. Sixty-one is just a number; it's how you feel and your health that was really the motivation."
Cecile was admitted to the hospital "earlier than planned" due to high blood pressure, but Uma was born "strong and healthy."
Cecile, who delivered the baby vaginally, said she had no qualms about giving the baby over to her son and his husband once she'd been delivered:
"A lot of people would say, 'Are you going to be able to hand this baby over when you've been carrying her for nine months?' Every time we went to an ultrasound or an appointment, I looked at her as my granddaughter ― never something I owned or possessed. All I visualized was being able to deliver naturally and to hand her over to Matt and Elliot, who were so desperate and so deserving of making their dream a reality."
People are thrilled for the happy couple.
"She [Uma] has so many amazing women to look up to," Matthew told The New York Post. "Now it's fun to say [to Elliot], 'This is ours now, we get to bond and connect and work together as a team.'"
She definitely does!