Mother donates Eggs To Her Seven-Year-Old Daughter

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    Melanie Boivin with her daughter Flavie, whose genetic condition means she is infertile.

    A mother has donated her eggs to her own daughter for IVF in a world first, scientists said today.
    The controversial procedure could see the girl - left infertile by a genetic condition - give birth to her own half-sister or brother.
    Canadian Melanie Boivin, 35, asked doctors to freeze her eggs after learning how difficult it would be for her daughter Flavie, seven, to have a child of her own.
    Flavie has Turner syndrome, a genetic condition that affects one in 2,000 girls and usually means they also suffer from growth problems, heart defects, certain facial and physical abnormalities, ear and urinary infections and a higher risk of diabetes.
    Ms Boivin, a lawyer for the Canadian government, approached doctors at the McGill Reproductive Centre in Montreal. After permission was granted by the hospital's ethical committee, the eggs were frozen six months ago.
    If Flavie chooses to use the eggs when she has grown up she will have to get further ethical approval before they can be fertilised with her partner's sperm and implanted.
    Ms Boivin said she thought about the process for more than a year and discussed it at length with her partner, Martin Cote, 35, a financial analyst. They have two other children together, Jeremie, 11, and Clara, two, who does not have Turner's.
    Ms Boivin said from her home in Montreal: "The role of a mother is essentially to help her children and if I could do anything in my power to help her I had to do it and because of my age I had to do it now.
    "I told myself if she had needed another organ, like a kidney, I would volunteer without any hesitation and it is the same kind of thought process for this."
    Ms Boivin said she has come up against little opposition to the plan.
    The waiting list for donor eggs in Canada is very long and getting worse. Even if Flavie decides she does not want to use her mother's eggs, under Canadian rules she can donate them to someone else and go to the top of the waiting list.
    Ms Boivin said if Flavie uses the eggs to have a child she will support her in any way she can.
    She told the Standard: "It is very difficult to imagine how I will react when the situation arises...If she wants to go further I will be supportive and will see this child as any other grandchild."
    Doctors presented the groundbreaking case at the annual meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, in Lyon, France, today.
    Medical director of the McGill Reproductive Centre, Professor Seang Tan, said the ethics committee gave its approval because there was no obligation on the part of the donor, it was being done entirely out of love, and that Flavie will be able to choose to use the eggs or not.
    He said: "Ethical considerations change over time. The soonest the daughter will contemplate using the eggs will be 20 years from now."

    Ms Boivin underwent two cycles of hormone treatment to prompt her ovaries to produce lots of mature eggs which were then harvested. In all, 21 eggs have been frozen. Professor Tan said it was likely Flavie and her future partner would have the eggs fertilised by IVF and then have tests to ensure the embryos were free of Turner syndrome before they were implanted.
    If specific tests for Turner syndrome have not been developed, they could select male embryos only to implant as boys are unaffected by the condition.
    Natural conception only occurs in between two and five per cent of patients with Turner syndrome and there is a high risk of miscarriage.
    Arlene Smyth, executive officer of the Turner Syndrome Support Society in the UK, said: "I think it is a wonderful development...but without dealing with the moral and legal implications it might lead to greater stress." A spokeswoman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said the process would be difficult in Britain because eggs are usually only allowed to be stored for a maximum of five years.

    Health, Women & Family:The Dailymail
  2. I think it's pretty darn cool of her to think of it!
  3. My mom would do something like that - she's a generous person.
  4. Wow she has a really great mother who's thinking about her daughter's future :smile::smile::smile: I think it's great.
  5. Wow! What a great and considerate thing for her mom to do!
  6. Gotta love medical science. :yes:
  7. I think its wonderful that she has potentially given the gift of motherhood to her daughter!!!
  8. What a wonderful mother.
  9. That's such a beautiful thing to do...

    On the other hand, I don't see what the person in the article commenting about "giving birth to their half-sibling" is going on about. It just strikes me as odd that they'd be just focusing on the "incest" vision of the whole thing rather than the beauty of maternal love.
  10. If the condition is genetic, what are the chances of passing it on to the new baby in the future?
  11. A very loving thing to do for her child. Good for her!