A man whose 61-year-old mom gave birth to his daughter said it was a 'magical' experience that forced him to challenge his own internalized stigma
- Matt and Elliot Dürt's daughter was conceived with Matt's sperm, Elliot's sister's egg, and Matt's mom's uterus.
- Their unusual path to parenthood made them confront stereotypes, some internalized.
- The couple, whose daughter is now two, shared their story on the Pregnantish podcast.
Matt Dürt was joking when he told the doctor his mom was a potential surrogate for his baby.
Dürt and his husband, Elliot, had just learned the friend they'd originally selected as the carrier wasn't a good candidate, so Matt offered up his mother for comedic relief.
The doctor didn't laugh. She asked: "Is she healthy? Does she have a uterus?" Yes. Plus, Matthew's mom, Cecile Eledge, had offered in earnest, she previously told Insider's Anneta Konstantinides.
So in 2019 at age 61, Eledge became the oldest woman in the US to give birth, delivering a healthy baby girl - her granddaughter, Uma - who'd been created with Matt's sperm and Elliot's sister's egg. "The way that we had our child was not in any way that we had anticipated," Matt said.
Both Matt and Elliot's moms carried the egg that became Uma
Elliot's sister, Lea Yribe, volunteered her eggs when she heard they were looking for a donor.
Accepting the offer was a no-brainer. "When you say those three letters [IVF], you think expensive," Elliot, a hairstylist, said. Using Yribe's eggs meant Elliot would be genetically connected to the baby and they wouldn't have to pay for donor eggs.
Meanwhile, Matt didn't seriously consider his mother's repeated offers to be a surrogate until the doctors did. "It was something that she felt she was destined and called to do for us," Matt, a teacher, said.
It reflected improvements in gay rights since Matt came out to his mom, when she mourned that her son would never get married or have kids. "It's just so full-circle: Not only did we get married, but my mom was literally the portal to give us our first child."
Equally special was a realization that Yribe had the egg that created Uma her whole life, even as a fetus in her mom's womb. In a way, the egg has been inside both mom's uteruses - something Matt and Elliot value since Elliot's mom passed away from cancer before Uma was born.
"Both of the matriarchs of this family have carried this egg," Elliot said.
Misconceptions about fertility and gay parenting
Using Matt's mom as a surrogate opened the floodgates to judgments. Some people thought their arrangement was incestual.
Matt was also concerned about his mom's health. "I didn't want to be seen as like being really reckless and careless with the one mom that we had left," he said.
But the experience demonstrated that a woman's uterus doesn't age like her ovaries do - something a lot of people misunderstand. "I didn't know that a woman that was postmenopausal could even carry," Matt said. "And so we have to extend some grace to individuals, because it isn't the most familiar tale told."
Some stereotypes related to gay parenting were internalized.
Matt said he was "embarrassed" to say their child was biologically connected to both of them. There's a sense that gay people are obligated to adopt or foster, he said. But he now sees it as "something really magical."
He also wondered if kids need a female parent to thrive.
"I had a real deep fear that I wouldn't have this internal maternal magic that is so important for loving and nurturing a young sentient being," Matt said. "Then she was born and I held her for the first time, and I heard her cry for the first time and it was such a cosmic experience."
"I think maternal energy is so crucial," he added, "but I think we all have the ability to tap into it."
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