NPR

Inside The Ukrainian Clinic Making '3-Parent Babies' For Women Who Are Infertile

A clinic in Kiev, Ukraine, stirs controversy by making babies with DNA from three different people to help women who are infertile bear children. It's the only clinic known to be doing this right now.
Pavlo Mazur extracts DNA from an embryo inside the Nadiya Clinic in Kiev, Ukraine. Source: Rob Stein/NPR

In a clinic on a side street in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, doctors are doing something that, as far as is publicly known, is being done nowhere else in the world: Using DNA from three different people to create babies for women who are infertile.

"If you can help these families to achieve their own babies, why it must be forbidden?" Valery Zukin, director of the Nadiya Clinic, asks as he peers over his glasses. "It is a dream to want to have a genetic connection with a baby."

I traveled to Ukraine because Zukin promised unusual access to his private fertility clinic, including the first demonstration for a U.S. journalist of how scientists create "three-parent" babies — a procedure prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Zukin also arranged the first-ever interview with a mother of a 15-month-old boy who is one of the four children he says he's produced this way.

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