ROPA – Lesbian Shared in vitro fertilization – Ethical aspects

Pedro Brandão, António de Pinho, Nathan Ceschin, Ricardo Sousa-Santos, Sérgio Reis-Soares, José Bellver
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology Volume 272, May 2022, Pages 230-233. 2022 doi:


Recently, a technique of assisted reproduction was developed to allow lesbian women to share biological motherhood of their offspring – the ROPA method (in Spanish – Recepci´on de Ovocitos de Pareja; in English – Reception of Partner’s Oocytes), also known as lesbian shared in vitro fertilization. One mother provides the oocytes (genetic mother) and the other receives the embryo and gets pregnant (gestational mother). As for most issues related to medically assisted reproduction, this technique raises a lot of ethical questions in respect to patients, future offspring, gametes, and embryos. Furthermore, the fact that it is directed to homosexual women poses its own issues, both biological and social in nature. This is a state-of-the-art review of the main ethical dilemmas related to this technique, primarily focusing on the basic principles of bioethics, but also specific concerns directly related to this kind of treatments.