Same-Sex Couple 'Thrilled' to Welcome Rare Triplets Via Surrogate

"Hard work, but so rewarding," dad Christo Menelaou said.

ByNICOLE PELLETIERE
August 23, 2016, 4:10 PM

— -- In a rare occurrence, a South African same-sex couple has welcomed triplets, which include identical twins, via surrogacy.

The couple, Christo and Theo Menelaou, both share biological fatherhood to the babies, since sperm was used from both parents, they said.

"It's the biggest joy having [these] babies," Christo Menelaou told ABC News today. "Hard work, but so rewarding."

Christo and Theo have been together for over nine years and married for four. The two men have wanted children for a while now, Christo said.

"We were strongly advised by the social worker that our chances of succeeding in getting an adoption was very small, considering there was a large demand for people wanting children," he added. "They'd almost have a much better chance than us because they were not same-sex couples. If you're same-sex, it's a mission."

Christo and Theo were able to choose a profile for an egg donor and found a surrogate to carry their children. But 11 weeks into the pregnancy, sonographer Heidi Richter discovered one of the embryos had split and the mother was now carrying triplets, with two being identical twins, Christo said.

On July 2, Joshua, 4 pounds, Zoe, 3.1 pounds, and Kate, 2.9 pounds, were born in that order at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg.

The Menelaous have daytime and nighttime nurses to help care for their triplets.

“On weekends, it’s Daddy and Daddy’s problem though,” Christo said, laughing.

Zoe and Kate are identical twins.

Dr. Heidra Dahms, the obstetrician who delivered the Menelaou triplets, said this occurrence was extremely rare, according to Christo.

Dahms and Netcare Sunninghill Hospital did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The Guinness Book of World Records told ABC News that they currently do not recognize the record title of the first male, gay couple in the world to be fathers to triplets (with identical twins), but are currently researching.

As for being parents, new dad Christo, who works in construction, said they're enjoying every moment.

"[We are] more than thrilled," he said. "When it's going rough on my building sites and all is hectic, I just think of our babies and all is well."

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