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10th May 2023

Baby with DNA from three people born for the first time in UK

Kat O'Connor

A baby with DNA from three different people has been born in the UK.

According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the baby was born after a special IVF procedure.

The child’s mother underwent mitochondrial donation treatment to prevent the infant from inheriting a serious mitochondrial disease.

The treatment is only eligible for those who are “at a very high risk of passing a serious mitochondrial disease” onto their child.

People with a less serious form of the disease may not be eligible for treatment.

But how does mitochondrial donation treatment work?

According to the HFEA, the treatment involves giving a woman an IVF baby with DNA from three different people.

The baby’s ‘nuclear characteristics’ will come from its mother and father. This includes their personality and their eye colour, but a small amount of mitochondrial DNA will be provided from a female donor.

The woman who donates her eggs/embryos in mitochondrial donation treatment is not a legal parent. This means they don’t have any legal rights or responsibility over the child.

The donor also remains anonymous.

The mitochondria they donate make up less than the infant’s genetics.

In this case, the parents and child have not been identified in a bid to protect them.

Mitochondrial donation treatment was approved in the UK in 2017. It was the first ever country to approve the treatment.


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