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April 30, 2001

Genetics and Heredity

Question from Brooklyn, New York, USA:

A surrogate mom candidate has a sibling with type 1 diabetes. What is the risk that the baby will have diabetes of any kind later in life? Is it reason enough to discount this candidate?

Answer:

Is the surrogate mother the actual ovum donor? If she is simply carrying the pregnancy that was fertilized outside the womb (“a test-tube baby”) then I would presume the risk is low. Certainly a family history of type 1 diabetes in the ovum or (perhaps even more so) the sperm donor carries a certain degree of increased risk — enough to discount a candidate. My personal opinion is no, but reproductive clinics may have their own criteria and you should check things with them. I can find no literature at present to better answer your question.

DS