Christo and Theo Menelaou are two proud dads. It is believed they are the first same-sex couple in South Africa to biologically father triplets, Parent24 reports.
‘It’s very hard to be accepted for adoption, and we were told we would always come after heterosexual couples.’
The Menelaou couple did this with the assistance of a surrogate, who they met during the chaos of the Oscar trial.
Theo and Christo were friends and neighbours of Oscar Pistorius. Following the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp, there was a community meeting where Theo and Christo met their surrogate.
“It’s very hard to be accepted for adoption, and we were told we would always come after heterosexual couples. And then we just never thought we’d ever find a person who would want to be surrogate to a gay couple,” Christo told Sky News.
Sky News reported that the couple went to an egg bank to select the eggs that would be fertilised with each dad’s sperm. After choosing eggs, two eggs were fertilised – one with Theo’s and the other with Christo’s sperm.
Both eggs were implanted. At a 10-week scan, it was discovered that both ova had successfully attached to the surrogate’s womb, but one of the fertilised eggs had split, which resulted in identical twins.
Christo and Theo were previously advised to terminate two babies in order to give one baby a greater chance of survival.
Therefore, twin girls Zoe and Kate have Theo’s DNA, and their son Joshua has Christo’s DNA.
Joshua, also the longest of the trio, measured only 40cm. They were put on breathing apparatus and constantly monitored until they were considered strong enough to leave Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg.
Even so, they went home separately, with Joshua being the first discharged on July 22 at three weeks old; Zoe left 10 days later, followed by her twin Kate on August 4.
Christo and Theo were previously advised to terminate two babies in order to give one baby a greater chance of survival. Christo and Theo declined and sourced gynaecologists who agreed to helping them deliver the triplets.
Following the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp, there was a community meeting where Theo and Christo met their surrogate.
Even though the triplets are at home and the dads are enjoying every moment with their little ones, their parenting journey remains a challenging one: the babies occasionally stop breathing.
All three were kitted out with monitors which, when triggered, sound an alarm that a baby is in trouble.
Theo and Christo have two nurses who help with the triplets on a 24-hour basis. One of the twins, Kate, will have to undergo heart surgery in a few months.
Through all the obstacles they have encountered, Theo and Christo are eternally grateful for their miracle babies, and they consider themselves happy and blessed.
They told Sky News they never thought they would become parents, given their sexuality.
Watch below the Menelaou family :
– Caxton News Service