Remember the “good old days” when women got pregnant by their husbands and gave birth to their own babies? These days, things are getting far more complicated as surrogacy comes into play.
Ellen Bown has given birth, in total, to three children, but only one of those is her own child. In a story that raises many questions about the whole idea of surrogacy and family, Bown acted as a surrogate for her biological mother, Jenny, and her stepfather, Tony, thereby giving birth to her own brother and sister.
Strictly speaking, this makes the twins, Alex and Ruth, her biological children, but also legally her siblings. What makes it more complicated is it also makes Bown’s daughter, Maddy, both half-sister and niece to the twins. Confused yet?
Mum who gave birth to her brother and sister wanted to do something special for her own mother http://t.co/nsUZYYFQsM
— Enoch Jeremiah (@EnochJeremiah7) April 10, 2015
The story of the surrogacy dates back a few years, as Maddy Bown is now 17 while the twins, Alex and Ruth, are aged 12. However, the story has only now reached the media.
While sounding a little like the novel and 2014 film Flowers in the Attic, according to the Daily Mail, there was no incest involved. Ellen used her own eggs, which were then fertilized with her stepfather’s sperm in a petri dish.
Bown then took the pregnancy to term, which biologically speaking, made the twins her own children. However, as this was a case of surrogacy, the babies were then legally adopted by Ellen’s mother Jenny and her stepfather a week after their birth.
Hence, Alex and Ruth are now legally her aunt and uncle. However, they are also, biologically speaking, her son and daughter. Mindboggling, but true. Have a look at the family structure in the image below.
Bown was interviewed by the British TV channel ITV and in the video was asked why she decided to go ahead with the surrogacy. She explained that when her mother and step-father got married and mentioned they wanted children, they told her they would need to use a surrogate, and she volunteered.
“I just felt it was better to do it and keep it in the family rather than them have a stranger do it for them.”
In other unusual surrogacy news in the U.K., the Inquisitr recently reported on the story of a mother who carried a baby for her gay son.
[Image: Screengrab from ITV interview video]