CBS News October 30, 2018, 10:38 AM In a first, same-sex couple carries the same baby

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter with their son, Stetson.


DALLAS — A same-sex couple in North Texas both wanted to carry their baby. They were able to through a special type of in vitro fertilization, CBS DFW reports.

Now, Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter call 5-month-old Stetson their miracle baby. "The way that Mr. Stetson came into this world was pretty special," Ashleigh said.

Ashleigh and Bliss knew they wanted kids when they married. They both carried their son through what's called "Effortless IVF."

"We gave it a try and it was very, very successful," Bliss said.

"This represents the first time that two women have both physically carried their child together," said fertility specialist Dr. Kathy Doody of The Center for Assisted Reproduction.

Kathy and her husband, Dr. Kevin Doody, made it happen using Bliss' eggs and sperm from a donor.

"She was so confident when she was saying that they can do it," Ashleigh said. "I think that was surprising to us but also exciting."

Through Effortless IVF, instead of placing the sperm and eggs into incubators, they go into an INVOcell. The device is then placed in the body for five days where the egg fertilizes and early embryo development begins.

In the Coulters' case, after five days, Bliss had the INVOcell removed. The embryos were frozen and then one was transferred to Ashleigh. She carried their baby to term.

"This is a revolutionary type of IVF," Kevin said. "It's more accessible, it's more affordable and it's truly more natural."

He said it's received mixed feelings from the medical community.

"I think many have been excited about the thought, but Kevin is correct. Doctors in general, we don't like change, so I think that their ability to share their story is phenomenal," Kathy said.

Ashleigh and Bliss said they feel blessed to be able to share the experience together, and more children are in their future.

"You know your whole life changes obviously with anybody when they have a baby so leaning on your partner I think is really, really important and I definitely think it brought us closer together," Ashleigh said.

Even though the Coulters were the Doodys first same-sex couple to go through Effortless IVF, they've performed the process for around 200 heterosexual couples.

They said the process typically costs about half as much as traditional IVF.