Same-sex couple celebrate as they defy the odds to father surrogate triplets

A same sex couple are celebrating after becoming one of the first in the world to have triplets by a surrogate mother. In another rare twist, Christo and Theo Menelaou share biological fatherhood as DNA from both of them was used. The couple have now taken their triplets, including identical twins, back home in South Africa after a nerve-wracking three weeks in hospital, where the babies hovered between life and death. The infants were delivered prematurely at just over 31 weeks – Joshua was the heaviest, weighing 1.82kg (4lb), Zoe came next, weighing 1.4kg (3.1lb), and finally Kate followed at just 1.3kg (2.9lb).

When you are gay, there is always the thought that it just may not be possible to be a parent no matter how much you would love to be.

Christo Menelaou

The new parents, who were friends and neighbours of shamed former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, feared they would never be able to have children as they were unlikely to be accepted for adoption. But they met the surrogate, already a mother of three, through a friend who was a witness at the runner’s murder trial. By another coincidence, they even completed the legal formalities of the surrogacy in front of the same judge who oversaw the trial. Their sperm was used to fertilise one egg each from an egg bank. However, the path to fatherhood was troubled when scans showed the mother was carrying triplets and doctors recommended they terminate two of the babies.

We have to gently massage their backs or tickle their toes just to remind them to take a breath

Theo Menelaou