By Alexandra Temblador
Back to the Future Part II predicted that in 2015 we would by flying around in cars. This interest in predicting the future has always been an integral part of our literature and entertainment, however, who could have guessed that in 2015 researchers would be claiming that in less than two years same-sex couples could be having children…biological children.
Yes, you read that right. Biological children. The Wellcome Trust has been funding researchers at Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science who have discovered a way to create human sperm and egg cells from the stem cells in human skin. This not only implies that men and women who are infertile could have a new chance to have biological children but it also suggests that same-sex couples could also produce biological children.
Keep in mind that the study has shown that it would be much easier to complete this process for same-sex male couples. This process is more complicated for lesbian couples due to the difficulty of adding a Y chromosome. Still, this allows for celebration among the LGBT community for just as flying cars have always been a wild imagining only fit for the future, so has biological children for same-sex couples. Now science tells us this is no longer imagination but a possibly reality.
There are a lot of positive aspects that arise with the possibility of same-sex couples being able to have biological children. First, gay couples would have more options when it came to having children. They wouldn’t be limited to just adoption or surrogacy and wouldn’t have to depend on finding donors. Being able to have biological children would effectively cut out the need to involve extra individuals in the process of having a child, a process made easier when one is able to leave out the legal documentation for surrogates, open adoptions, or the presence of donors in children’s lives. Similarly, same-sex couples who live in states that ban LGBT adoption, like Utah, or ban LGBT couples from adopting would no longer have to worry about these discriminatory adoption laws.
Although researchers have found that children growing up in homosexual households are just as well-adjusted as children growing up in heterosexual households, the ability to have biological children might eliminate certain confusing conversations that many gay parents must have with their children. Rather than having to explain to their children about their adoption process or the search for a donor or surrogate, same-sex couples could truthfully be able to say one day, “you came from daddy and daddy.”
The ability for same-sex couples to have biological children is a great step forward for LGBT families. Granted such abilities in technology will inevitably create a backlash from many anti-LGBT groups or anti-stem cell research groups, but this should not deter the LGBT community. Rather, the possibility of something as wonderful as biological children for same-sex couples should give everyone hope for a new and interesting future. The researchers still have a long way to go when it comes to perfecting this science but we have seen the future and the future says to start your clocks because this technology could be perfected in just two years. 700 days or so and counting…