South African triplets have both dads' DNA


Christo and Theo Menelaou are two proud dads. It is believed they are the first same-sex couple in South Africa to biologically father triplets.

The Menelaou couple did this with the assistance of a surrogate, whom they met during the chaos of the Oscar trial. Theo and Christo were friends and neighbours of Oscar Pistorius. Following the tragic death of Reeva, there was a community meeting and this was where Theo and Christo met the woman who would agree to being a surrogate for them.

Sky news reported that the couple went to an egg bank to select the eggs which would be fertilised with each dad's sperm. After choosing eggs, two eggs were fertilised – one with Theo's and the other with Christo's sperm.

Medical rarity

Both eggs were implanted. At a 10-week scan, it was discovered that both ova had successfully attached to the surrogate's womb, but one of the fertilised eggs had split, which resulted in identical twins.

Therefore, twin girls Zoe and Kate have Theo's DNA, and their son Joshua has Christo's DNA. The Telegraph reported the occurrence is considered a rarity by many healthcare professionals.

Christo and Theo were advised to terminate two babies, in order to give one baby a greater chance of survival. Christo and Theo declined and sourced gynaecologists who would agree to helping them deliver the triplets.

The triplets were born in July, but they were premature and weighed just over 1kg each. Kate, Zoe and Joshua spent a number of days in hospital, where they were closely monitored. 

Even though the triplets are at home and the dads are enjoying every moment with their little ones, their parenting journey remains a challenging one: the babies occasionally stop breathing.

All three were kitted out with monitors which, when triggered, sound an alarm that a baby is in trouble. Theo and Christo have two nurses who help with the triplets on a 24-hour basis. And one of the twins, Kate, will have to undergo heart surgery in a few months.

Through all the obstacles they have encountered, Theo and Christo are eternally grateful for their miracle babies. They consider themselves happy and blessed. They told Sky News they never thought they would become parents, given their sexuality.

Here's their story:

Another SA dad who longed to be a dad was retired rugby ref Jonathan Kaplan, who also became a father with the help of a surrogate. Baby Kaleb was born in June this year.

Kaplan then gushed about his baby boy and celebrating his first Father's Day.

More recently, Kaplan tweeted about getting away on holiday with Kaleb. A holiday where he also managed to complete his 78th marathon.

Parent24 wishes these dads all the best on their parenting journeys.

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