by Terry Gee
In what seems to be something straight out of science-fiction, a medical breakthrough suggests the same-sex couples could be biological parents in just two years.
Funded by the Wellcome Trust in a project with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, researchers at Cambridge University have revealed that skin cells from two adults can be used to make both the egg and sperm cells necessary to produce a baby.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Project leader Azim Surani said, “We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish. We have also discovered that one of the things that happen in these germ cells is that epigenetic mutations, the cell mistakes that occur with age, are wiped out.”
This really is fantastic news and incredible to think that gay couples could be able to have biological offspring in the near future. But, there a line from Jurassic Park that keeps popping into my head, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.“
I understand that this is a huge breakthrough and could mean that not only same-sex couples would be able to parent a biological child, but anyone who can’t currently produce children for a myriad of reasons. And while I think the information gathered here is important and should be researched and developed further, I am unsure whether it should be put into practice or not.
There are millions of orphaned children across the globe. If in the coming years this procedure does become a reality and – depending on cost – accessible to all, what will happen to all those kids who desperately need a family? I’m not saying this isn’t amazing, but I do worry that it could leave a lot of children without the hope of ever being adopted.