Stem cells have generated such an enormous amount of interest, in part, because of their applications related to areas such as fertility and genetics. In that same light, their interest for solving reproductive challenges has also generated a great deal of controversy. This is particularly true in the application of stem cells to facilitate reproduction for gay couples.
At present, there are a number of research laboratories that are focused on the creation of cells that are genetically male but have been produced from eggs. Alternately, they are also trying to create sperm from female eggs. If the research proves to work, the consequences are particularly important for gay and lesbian couples that wish to have children. The idea is, however, an extremely controversial one that mixes in with politics, religion and ethics. Many individuals oppose same-sex reproduction while gay and lesbian couples - as well as heterosexual members of the public - argue that gay persons should have the right to produce and raise biological children if the opportunity becomes available.
Current Research for Same Sex Reproduction
The techniques purported to allow same-sex reproduction have yet to be successful but they do hold promise. They include methods of cellular reprogramming and even techniques such as artificial chromosomes. While they have not been shown to work at present, they do hold potential for the future of same-sex reproduction. One particular technique involves the creation of sperm from human stem cells. In a recent experiment, bone marrow stem cells were extracted from men and they were then triggered into spermatogonia. These cells are able to develop into immature sperm cells. The experiment was widely reported in the news but has not yet been published or successfully replicated.
In another experiment, spermatogonia were triggered to begin meiosis after being cultured with cells known as Sertoli cells. These cells are found in the testes and are important because they support developing sperm. While the research team for this particular experiment has yet to obtain these kinds of results with the production of eggs, a team in Brazil does cite that they have created sperm and eggs from embryonic stem cells. Whether or not the eggs can actually produce viable offspring, however, is the most vital aspect of this type of experimentation. Still, the work does still show that potential for same-sex reproduction exists, and it will likely spur further research in this area.
Safety is a key aspect of stem cell research - this aspect is more important than ever when addressing the potential for same-sex reproduction. When cells are triggered into change, there is the possibility that they grow uncontrolled and are more likely to lead to cancer. The enormity of the cell modification that occurs to create female sperm is also of concern, especially with regards to any chromosomal abnormalities or problems that can occur through the use of artificial chromosomes.
Controversy of Stem Cells and Same Sex Reproduction
Unfortunately, the pathway to realistically providing the techniques to support same-sex reproduction is a complicated one in terms of political, religious and ethical controversy. Most conservative religious groups are strongly opposed to same-sex relationships, so it follows without surprise that they are against same-sex reproduction. This means that even if same-sex reproduction becomes a successful reality, there are still numerous hurdles to overcome before the techniques can actually be put into practice.
Dear Ian Murnaghan,
Could you please include links to the scientific articles that you used as sources to write this article? Or maybe links to the websites of research groups working on this?
I am writing a research proposal for my embryology course (BSc) and would be very curious to read more.
Ann - 28-Apr-16 @ 2:29 PM
Who tf would do this!? First of all it is meant for a MAN AND WOMAN to create a life not a woman and woman or man and man . Believe what you want but nowhere in the Bible does it allow same sex to create life . Did any of you read where it says that this type of procedure may cause cancer or giants or midget children!? Why would you put a child through this type of experiment just to be as selfish as trying to do the impossible? Same sex wasn't meant to make life, if it was you wouldn't have such risks to create it . I don't care what any of you say, anyone who approves of this is helping them eliminate HUMANITY. Cause I GUARANTEE that NONE of this is humane .
wtf - 20-Apr-16 @ 4:04 PM
Is there any experiment to be done on human body? We are a couple and would love to be a part of this experiment. We are eagerly waiting to hear from you and to hold that gene of ours once n this life.
Couple - 16-Apr-16 @ 11:36 AM
There are so many people ready to participate in such research. If and when this study became an actual thing, it the people who came up with it and helped the lgbt community have children of their own would basically be worshiped. I know my wife and I have been searching for something like this for years. We have 1 child. But we want more that aren't just mine or just hers.
Mmorgan1 - 7-Apr-16 @ 6:33 PM
Me and my girlfriend would love to sign up because very interested to try something like this.so we can finally have biogical children.
Chlo - 4-Apr-16 @ 11:59 PM
I'd just like to bring up the fact that we shouldn't allow religion to get in the way of science. Not everyone has the belief that these things are wrong to their God figure, and people should not have their opportunities denied because of it. I absolutely despise it when religion is used as an excuse for all people to have good things in life. I understand that you may not have meant it to be so offensive, but scientists shouldn't let religious people with hurt feelings stop their work.
TLB - 29-Mar-16 @ 4:20 PM
BELLA - Your Question:
Do you have any idea of dates yet as to when this will become available? Thank you x x x
I'm afraid we do not, as specified in the article, unfortunately, the pathway to realistically providing the techniques to support same-sex reproduction is a complicated one in terms of political, religious and ethical controversy. Most conservative religious groups are strongly opposed to same-sex relationships, so it follows without surprise that they are against same-sex reproduction. This means that even if same-sex reproduction becomes a successful reality, there are still numerous hurdles to overcome before the techniques can actually be put into practice. This means it may not even be in our lifetime.
ExploreStemCells - 1-Mar-16 @ 11:07 AM
Do you have any idea of dates yet as to when this will become available?
Thank you x x x
BELLA - 29-Feb-16 @ 10:27 AM
thumper - Your Question:
How much does this cost? How old do we have to be?
As specified in the article, this is still in the theoretical stages of research.
ExploreStemCells - 22-Dec-15 @ 1:51 PM
How much does this cost? How old do we have to be?
thumper - 21-Dec-15 @ 10:37 PM
My girlfriend and I would love to participate as a couple that goes under such experiment! If this is possible and there is some way we could go about having a child together, please contact me via email.
Thanks so much, blessings to all
tazia - 2-Dec-15 @ 3:48 PM
Who would we contact to do this ?
And like how much ?
Seriously very interested.
Austin - 16-Nov-15 @ 6:56 PM
I love all the potential with stem cell research. It's truly amazing. And if one day this is developed into a safe, successful procedure imagine the joy of Trans folk or gay/lesbian couples knowing they can have biological children
Dr. Connor - 11-Nov-15 @ 11:55 PM
I know this process has a name, because I have found it before. If anybody can find out or recall the name of this process that would be amazing.
ddmed99 - 8-Nov-15 @ 8:35 PM
Me and my girlfriend are curious on how much it would cost or where we could see about signing up because we are very interested in trying this.
bsmith082996 - 31-Oct-15 @ 7:11 PM
I've been looking into this for some time but I have not found anything updated about it.I'm definitely curious if it's happening in the United States as in right now.Please email me.Thank you.
herlove - 21-Oct-15 @ 9:11 PM
This isn't going to be a wide spread thing any time soon. It's still in early development plus you still have the theoretically dangerous side of it and morally ambiguousness to make it controversial enough that it could be illegal to the public in various areas.
I think it's wonderful and I honestly hope it gains a lot of support.
All the people are saying its us playing god but we've been doing that with selective breeding of dogs, cats, cattle, and livestock and medical research like blood transfusions, immunizations, and surgery for centuries now. If God didn't want us to move forward and test our limitations, then he wouldn't have created the tree of knowledge to begin with or even created us.
Deb - 1-Aug-15 @ 11:19 PM
So far from nature. It's horrendous. Mad-science is no longer a thing of fantasy.
dipaolo - 24-Jul-15 @ 8:54 AM
Ed: i think it would be fun to have a child with your lover. I'm gay and I would see my lover's and my chormosomes in a child. I wouldn't mind having carrying the baby, either. i wouldn't mind being a stay at home daddy
Flynn - 26-Jun-15 @ 11:23 PM
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Bob - 9-Jun-15 @ 7:50 AM
If the tech is available in the future, it will be faced with many ethic and religious controversy as many religious groups don't accept same sex relationship, needless to say the children from same sex parents. But at present, the tech is under develop, there is enough time to settle this problem-BOC Sciences
ada - 9-Jun-15 @ 7:46 AM
If it gets real, humanity will prove that not only gods can put the rules in life.
axyss - 21-May-15 @ 7:01 AM
My gf and Iare very interestedin hopefullyone day being able to have our baby from the same sex. If and when it's possible to do so when how do we go about it.
Nicole - 19-May-15 @ 7:39 PM
Is it possible for consumers yet? Those who are having problems with infertility? And is it possible in animals, example being a fixed male that you want to breed a litter of puppies now?
BluePanda3 - 19-May-15 @ 11:41 AM
If this becomes successful, Japan will have no choice but to legalize and implement it right away, because of their low birthrate and declining population.
kars - 24-Apr-15 @ 9:53 PM
How much would this cost very interesting article, hope the best for same sex reproduction since my brother is gay and Would make an excellent father with his wonderful glorious husband :)
LittleDuke - 17-Apr-15 @ 7:15 PM
Hi, I'm in a same-sex relationship and my girlfriend and I want to have kids in the future or maybe soon, is this a real procedure if so how do you go about doing it and who do you contact? Thanks.
Laurana - 2-Apr-15 @ 3:09 AM
This sounds extremely interesting for me as a girl whose lesbian. So in more easy words, you'd say it could be possible for two women to have a baby from both their genes and let's say one is carrying the womb and the other does the thing with the bone marrow step cell and it will be transplanted into the one carrying te child and they can have a healthy child together?
Einat - 25-Mar-15 @ 9:08 AM
@wouldbewench - men do not have wombs, so therefore can not carry children, a baby would not grow in the colon.
Charlie - 24-Mar-15 @ 11:53 AM
I would risk ectopic pregnancy in colon or elsewhere to be 1st man to have a baby