While discussing with a friend a while back on the likelihood a futanari (a woman with both fully developed and functioning sets of genitalia) existing in real life, we got into a discussion of whether a child could carry the genetics over from 2 months.

Currently (to my knowledge), for a female same-sex couple to conceive a child and for both women to be involved, one would donate an egg, the other actually gives birth, and the sperm is donated by a third party. However, this means that the child will carry over the genetics of one women in the couple and the unknown male.

I am wondering if there is a way for sperm to contain the genetic information so that way both women in a same-sex relationship could be genetically related to the child.

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    $\begingroup$ Only as a comment for the moment: I remember to have read about animal experiments were it was tried to get embryos from male-male and female-female combinations. These embryos died very early due to the different imprinting of the genes and their possibility to get activated. Obviously some genes are activated from the mother while others are only activated from the father. If both copies are active or inactive due to epigenetic changes, this makes problems. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris you should post an answer but remember science may not be there now it may be there later $\endgroup$
    – user1357
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 6:41
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    $\begingroup$ Note that some serious epigenetics disease might come up such as Angelman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ There are now some papers and actual proteins that imprint the genome (due to mostly X chromosome inactivation) are found. So reprogramming the gametes' imprinting should now be possible. So now two gay man can produce a child. That is going to be interesting. There is also that chimera man who have different imprintings... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 7:42

2 Answers 2


You might be interested in this article. In this study they created haploid ES cells from artificially activating an unfertilized oocyte and growing the haploid cells. These cells, when introduced in the ICM, give rise to viable chimeras.

In another study, haploid androgenetic ES cells were created by injecting a sperm into an enucleated oocyte. These cells also are capable of creating offspring when fused with another oocyte. [See this post also]

Also, since these cells can be cultured, they can be genetically modified. However, they undergo spontaneous diploidization and lose reproductive potential after a few rounds of division. This is related to the alteration of epigenetic status of these cells on certain imprinted loci. Others have also indicated the importance of both paternal and maternal imprinting in the viability of embryos which might be a problem in oocyte-oocyte derived hES cell fusions (See cross references). [Check this article too].

It can be concluded that oocyte$-$oocyte-hES fusions are not observed because of same imprint status (Also mentioned by Chris in the comments). AD-hES also lose their paternal imprints on prolonged culture (but retain maternal imprints). It is to be ascertained if paternal imprints are more unstable compared to maternal imprints under these conditions. It may be possible to optimize the culture conditions such that oocyte derived hES lose their maternal marks: would that lead to incorporation of paternal marks post-fusion is debatable.


Yes, it is scientifically possible. Though a third party (male sperm donor) is still required. Scientists working for a British biotechnology company, as well as doctors at Oregon Health and Sciences University have been working on complex procedures but are fighting the ethical red tape and are not currently using the techniques on patients.

This is the basics of the procedure being used by the doctors in Britain "The nuclei from the father's sperm and the mother's egg, which contain the parents' DNA, were removed. The nuclei were put into another egg from which the nucleus had been removed, but which retained its mitochondria. This new embryo contained the genes from both parents plus a tiny amount of mitochondrial DNA from the donor egg."

The scientists in Oregon have a similar yet slightly different approach with procedure explained as "Doctors would remove the nucleus DNA from the donor eggs and replace it with nucleus DNA from the patient's eggs. So, they would end up with eggs that have the prospective mother's nucleus DNA, but the donor's healthy mitochondrial DNA."

This approach can easily be modified to fit a lesbian couples desire to have a child that is related to both of them. Scientifically it is possible for two mothers to be directly related to a child, but the sperm is still a relevant part of the equation. It is not possible, so far, to create a functioning embryo without male sperm.

Sources: http://digitaljournal.com/article/290608 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/3-person-ivf-embryos-women-man_n_2011546.html

And my reproductive biology book and studies: Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by Claire Bourgain.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is what was desired. This is used to mitigate the presence of mtDNA mutations in the female line. While technically the mtDNA donating mother has some genetic relationship to the child, this is so minor - only 13 proteins are coded for in the mtDNA,and they are all involved in the ETC. I think the question is looking for nuclear DNA from two females as discussed by @WYSIWYG $\endgroup$
    – stords
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 5:46

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