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‘Natural instinct’

Woman, 61, gives birth to her own granddaughter as her gay son’s surrogate

By WITW Staff on April 1, 2019

A 61-year-old Nebraska woman has successfully given birth to her own granddaughter after serving as a surrogate mother for her son and his husband.

Cecile Eledge, a mother of three, said she offered to help her son Matthew and his partner Elliot Dougherty after the couple told family members they were exploring options to have a child together. While doctors say it is exceedingly rare for women over 60 to be healthy enough to serve as surrogates, Eledge said that the surrogacy was in some ways even easier than being pregnant with her own children.

“There was no moment of hesitation. It was natural instinct, I thought if I could do it, I would do it,” she told Omaha’s KETV-News. “I worked out, I was physically active, and actually it was almost easier. Because I’m older my diet’s been easier and I didn’t have the responsibility of other children, just this pregnancy.”

Cecile Eledge (YouTube/NBC News)

Using eggs donated by Dougherty’s sister Lea Yribe and fertilized with sperm from Matthew, doctors at Omaha’s University of Nebraska Medical Center successfully performed an in-vitro fertilization procedure on Eledge. Eledge was heavily monitored during the pregnancy, which proceeded with few problems besides a some blood pressure spikes and severe morning sickness. The baby, a girl, came several weeks early but in perfect health, doctors said. Images of the new baby and her loving family were captured by photographer Ariel Panowicz on Instagram.

Matthew is no stranger to the hardships that sometimes come with being gay. Four years ago, he was fired from the Catholic school where he worked as an English teacher and speech coach. Though his students and their parents petitioned the school to let him keep his job, the administration said he would have to break up with his partner if he wanted to stay employed there.

“When you are gay and married and want to have a kid, you go into it with knowledge that you are going to have to create a family in a special way,” said Matthew. “We are thankful with how the whole process worked. We are really grateful that both Uma and her grandma are here, happy and healthy.”

Read the full story at HuffPost.


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