Two biological sisters met for the first time after being separated as embryos and born to different parents thanks to IFV. Jamie Benassi, 10, and Piper Joseph, 9, biologically have the same mother and father; however, Piper was raised by a separate family when her parents adopted her while she was still an embryo.
The Daily Mail reports that Allison and Tom Benassi, from Newton, Ohio, became pregnant with their daughter Jamie through IFV treatments. Following the treatments, the pair had a number of leftover fertilized embryos that could either be frozen for later, destroyed, or donated to another couple. The Benassi’s agreed to donate the embryos to a couple struggling with their own fertility, David and Rhonda Joseph from La Grange, Kentucky. The Joseph family legally adopted the embryo which was then placed in Rhonda’s womb. A year after the Benassi family welcomed Jamie into the world, the Joseph family would welcome a baby girl of their own, who they named Piper.
Thanks to the IVF treatments and embryo adoption, both Jamie and Piper were biologically sisters but had never met. In fact, both families continued with their lives, each raising their daughter separately for eight years. However, according to WCPO, that all changed last year. Piper’s parents have been upfront with her about the circumstances of her birth and at 8-years-old, she decided she would like to meet her biological parents and sister. The Josephs reached out to the Benassi family to see if they would be interested in meeting and they agreed.
However, the Benassi family said they first had to explain to their daughter, 9-years-old at the time of the meeting, that she had a biological sister that she had never met. The parents note that Jamie was immediately interested in meeting her biological sister and the meeting was scheduled.
Now, a year after their first meeting, the families say the girls are inseparable. They note that the pair act as though they have known each other since birth and immediately connected upon their first meeting.
“As soon as they saw each other and met each other, it was just instant togetherness – two sisters immediately. It was just as if they’ve been together all their lives.”
Now the Benassi and Joseph families are using the experience to encourage others to donate their unused embryos to other couples with fertility problems. The Joseph family says that the Benassis gave them such a special gift and that they got even more than they expected as they now view them as an extended family. Rhonda Joseph notes that many people often wonder if it is strange meeting with the Benassis but she says it isn’t because they “feel like family.”
“The beauty is not only did they share with us the opportunity to know what it’s like to be a mom and a dad and to have a little one look up and call you ‘mommy,’ but it also expanded our family because we love their family.”
What do you think of the unique bond between the biological sisters separated as embryos? Do you think it would be strange to meet the biological parents of your child if you adopted an embryo?
[Image Credit: Facebook]