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David Tutera's Egg Donation, Surrogacy and Fraternal Twin Parenting Trap
a blog by Julie Monacelli, September 18, 2013
Have you heard about the fraternal twins with different biological fathers separated at birth? You didn’t read that wrong. You see, David Tutera, a celebrity wedding planner, and his now ex-husband, Ryan Jurica, hired a surrogate to carry the embryos of an anonymous egg donor. Each man fertilized one of the two embryos transferred back to the surrogate, and somehow, both stuck. (Does this technically mean that one woman was pregnant by two men at the same time? An infertile woman prays for one man to impregnate her, this surrogate ends up with two?) Shortly after the transfer, the couple called it quits. Tutera reported on The View that they had actually been on the outs for about 6 years and they hoped having a baby would fix their relationship. Upon the birth of the twins, they were separated, going to live with the parent that contributed half of their genetic material. I suppose when you have enough money you can try making really expensive babies instead of going to marriage counseling.
This is a hot mess! It’s a celebrity version of the Parent Trap with an assisted reproduction twist. I use the term genetic material, not biological father, because often egg donor contracts refer to the recipients as “intended parents.” That term gives both parents a seemingly equal footing to me. Clearly, both men were the intended parents. If this had been a heterosexual couple, they would have had equal rights to both children even though only one intended parent would have had a genetic link. These men intended to have twins by knowingly placing two embryos into the surrogate; they intended to raise them together. As anyone in the infertility world knows, you only put back what you intend to parent.
How selfish was it to bring not one, but two children into the world to save a failing relationship? Then, to separate children that shared the same womb, denying them of both intended parents seems criminal to me. In any other divorce, a judge would have ensured the siblings had fair contact with each other and both of their parents. Is it because the laws haven’t kept up with assisted reproduction? Is it that they didn’t keep up with same sex relationship laws? Is it just that this couple is too narrow-minded to put their own selfishness aside for the good of the children? Should the twins have mandated visitation?
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