DIY son with two mothers

by Daily Mail

Last updated at 11:17 17 August 2005

Dawn Whiting caused outrage when she used a pickle jar and a syringe to have a DIY baby. Miss Whiting and her lesbian partner Lisa Dawson insisted they could provide a secure, long-term home for baby Ryan and even exchanged vows and rings in a 'marriage ceremony'.

But the couple split just a few months after Ryan's birth in 1998. Before he was six, he had called four women 'mummy', lived in six different houses and accumulated a dizzying array of step-siblings.

Miss Dawson said: "The first time he asked if he had a daddy, I told him he had two mummies and a donor. Of course, he wanted to know who the donor was, but I just changed the subject and tried to tell him how special he was and how much I wanted him.

"I should have known he'd want to find out about his father one day, but I suppose I didn't think about the consequences when I set out to get pregnant. I just felt it was every woman's right to have a child."

Ryan, now seven, was the product of a DIY pregnancy using sperm donated by a family friend. The sperm was handed over in a sterilised pickle jar and administered by Miss Dawson using a plastic syringe in the bedroom of the pair's home in Peterborough.

Astonishingly, the couple had already 'practised' the technique to create a baby girl for Miss Dawson, Terri. Miss Dawson said: "I think it is best for Terri that we parted. She was confused and didn't know which one of us to call mummy.

"Hopefully by the time she goes to school this will all be forgotten and people won't point at her and say, 'There's the pickle jar baby' or, 'There's the lesbian mother'.

"I'm not going to see Ryan any more because it's not fair on him. I missed him at first but I'm over the worst of it now."

She denied there would be any long-term effects on either child, adding: "We tried to make it work but we just couldn't, so we sat down and decided to call it a day."

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