The story of Cecile Eledge, her son Matthew and his friend Elliot is not only impressive because it challenges the patterns of motherhood and pregnancy; but because of the complications and obstacles that the couple was faced with because they were part of the LGBT community, especially in a state like Nebraska. However, the couple wanted to share their story in large part to prove that families like theirs can succeed anywhere, even in one of the most conservative places in the United States, where there is no law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Cecile Eledge, jumped at the chance to become surrogate when her son Matthew Eledge and her husband Elliot Dougherty, told him about their plans to start a family. Although at that time the family took as a joke the desire of Cecile to experience a new pregnancy, considering that it is over 60 years.
However, when the couple was in meetings with reproductive endocrinologists to discuss surrogate pregnancy options, Matthew jokingly quoted the offer of his mother to the doctors, but Dr. Carolyn Maud Doherty did not consider it impossible and proposed that If his mother was really willing to go through the procedure, she could start doing tests to determine the viability of the surrogacy.
Fortunately, Cecile has always had a healthy life and when the reproductive team of the Women’s Center of the Methodist Clinic did the analyzes, they were really surprised. The doctors performed a pap smear, blood, cholesterol and stress tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound; which assured that the woman was in perfect condition to perform the procedure.
In another impressive development of events, Cecile managed to get pregnant in her first embryo transfer, which was donated by Elliot’s sister, Lea Yribe, and fertilized with Matthew’s sperm.
Last week, Cecile gave birth, through natural way, to her first granddaughter: Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge. The healthy little girl was born at 6:00 am on March 25 and weighed 5 pounds and 13 ounces and according to Dr. Doherty, the delivery was carried out without complications.
Regarding the fact that it was his mother who gave birth to his daughter, Matthew says the situation is a bit shameful. “My mom and I are legally Uma’s parents. Nebraska requires that the sperm donor be the father and the person who gives birth to the baby be the mother, even if it has no biological relationship between. This looks very horrifying to us. Let’s say that we are NOT going to frame and hang Uma’s birth certificate. ” But more than being shameful, it is devastating for same-sex families that in state like Nebraska, one of the parents is not legally recognized. Elliot must now go through a process of adoption of Uma, to become legally his father, however it is a long and tiring process. “If I died, Elliot would have absolutely no legal custody of our daughter, we have gay marriage, but the whole structure has not yet reached it,” Matthew said.
The couple says that despite the complications, everything has been worth it, now they have a beautiful daughter. “She’s here,” said an emotional Matthew, “We did this. We did this together.”
Photo: Ariel Panowicz
Based on The Independent