British lesbian couple first to carry baby in both their wombs

Mason Boycott-Owen
Otis, the world's first In Vivo fertilized baby is held by his mother Donna Francis-Smith (left) as she stands with her wife Jasmine Francis-Smith.

A British lesbian couple have become the first parents to have a baby carried in both of their wombs in a landmark “shared motherhood” procedure.

Jasmine Francis-Smith gave birth to Otis, their son, two months ago, using an egg that was implanted using IVF after it was first incubated by her wife, Donna.

The treatment offered by the London Women’s Clinic involves one partner contributing and incubating the egg, while the other subsequently carries the foetus.

While more than 100 babies have been born to lesbian couples using artificial incubation, this procedure has gone one step further, with both parents participating.

Lance Cpl Donna Francis-Smith, 30, from Nottinghamshire, told The Telegraph: “We’re overwhelmed to be honest, it’s blown up massively.

 Donna Francis-Smith (right) and her wife Jasmine Francis-Smith (left)

“You get a lot of same-sex couples where one person is doing the whole thing, and the one person is getting pregnant and giving birth, whereas with this we’re both involved in a massive way. It’s definitely brought us closer together emotionally. We’re a close couple anyway but we both have a special bond with Otis as well which was helped by the way we’ve done it.

“It’s my egg, and then they did the egg collection from me and then put it back into my body for 18 hours before being put into Jasmine’s body, and she became pregnant.”

Otis Francis-Smith, the world's first In Vivo fertilised baby

Jasmine, 28, a dental nurse from Northamptonshire, gave birth to their son on Sept 30 in Colchester, Essex, where the family now live.

The couple said that the procedure made them feel “equal in the whole process”.

Jasmine said: “We’re really fortunate that this was our first go at IVF, but the reality is that it doesn’t work first time for a lot of people.”

Donna has been in the Army for 11 years, serving for one tour of Afghanistan as well as being stationed in  Cyprus. 

The two married in April last year after meeting in 2014 through online dating after Donna had moved back from Cyprus.

When asked how baby Otis was doing, Donna told The Telegraph: “He’s really good – he’s just chilling out. He’s a really good boy.

Donna Francis-Smith (left) and her wife Jasmine Francis-Smith (right)

“Jasmine said he’s going to be an astronaut, but he can be whatever he wants to be. We’ll always support him in whatever he wants to do.

“We’re just happy that it’s worked so well and the information is out there. It will help people in the future – it brings you closer together rather than feeling one has a bond more than the other.”