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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?


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.