14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

UK Couple Expecting 'Twiblings' Via Two Indian Surrogates

UK couple expecting 'twiblings' via two Indian surrogates

A couple from the UK are using two surrogate mums in India to provide them with four babies – or - to use a phrase coined by the BBC - 'twiblings'.

The husband and wife, who are 35 and 36, are reported to have employed Indian surrogates after enduring miscarriages and failed IVF in the UK.

Their surrogates – who they have never met - are now both carrying twins due in March 2014.

The couple's eggs and sperm were fertilised to create embryos at a clinic in Mumbai which were then implanted in to two women to increase the chances of a pregnancy.

"We had six embryos in the fridge and typically you would use one surrogate, but I thought get me two surrogates and implant three in each," the husband told the BBC.

He said they were overjoyed when clinicians called to tell them firstly that one of the surrogates was pregnant, then shortly after that the second was also carrying their babies.

"The clinic was panicking because it's never happened before," his wife said.

The mum-to-be said the clinic asked them if they wanted to go ahead with both pregnancies:
"They asked us - is this what you want? Otherwise tell us now and we'll do the necessary," she said, but added there was 'never any question' of terminating any of the pregnancies.

"I thought to myself why wait and why waste any time and go through ups and downs and attempts again. We've had a long ten-year journey with this," her husband said.

The couple say that they will never meet the gestational carriers of their children and that they don't need to - they will simply pay her and consider that she has done a job for them.

Natalie Gamble, a lawyer specialising in international surrogacy cases, said she estimates hundreds of British couples travel to India for surrogacy each year, where commercial surrogacy is said to be worth more than $1bn a year.

Health professionals in Britain have raised concerned over the trend with Dr Rima Rajkhowa from the Birmingham Women's hospital telling the BBC it was 'troubling'.

"I think patients who don't work in the medical field are not aware of all the risks that are involved with multiple pregnancies. All they can think of and are focused on is having a child and they want to make sure every step is taken to get to that goal," she said.

"I don't think any clinic in the UK will consider treating a commissioning couple with two surrogates simultaneously."

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