A set of triplets in America have been born with two different biological fathers.

Adam Smeets and his husband Justin Ruehs became parents to the three babies – twin girls and a boy – in June. The couple from Chicago had been attempting to start a family for four years before successfully having their triplets with a surrogate.

During the IVF procedure, sperm from both partners was used to fertilise eggs. Two embryos, one biologically-related to each man, were then put into the surrogate’s womb and both successfully implanted.

This meant both men could become biological fathers at the same time. And in a twist of fate, one of the embryos split to become identical twins making the pregnancy even more extraordinary.

Paternity tests were able to tell the men which of their children were biologically related to them, although they both share parental responsibility for all three. Adam is the biological father of the boy, called Emmett, while Justin shares DNA with their identical twin girls – Harper and Collins.

The pair had only expected one of the embryos to implant if the procedure worked at all so they were amazed when they found out they were expecting triplets. The babies were born five weeks early and are now three months old.

Babies conceived after four years of trying

Justin told Gay Times: “The technician told us that we had three heartbeats and embryo A had split into twins! Out loud I said, “What do you mean there are three? We only put in two?” After the initial surprise wore off, we were elated and thankful that we were pregnant.”

The path to parenthood was not a straightforward one for Adam and Justin. The couple, who met online, previously went through five IVF transfers with three different surrogates and while one of the procedures was initially successful, the resulting pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

Paternity tests are a highly effective way of identifying the biological father of a baby. They are most often used when there are doubts over who the father is due to the mother having more than one sexual partner around the time of conception.

However, AlphaBiolabs also offers DNA testing after surrogacy so parents can be completely confident that they are the biological parent of their child. The test offers peace of mind to parents, although the risk of sperm from the wrong man being used to fertilise the embryo or for an embryo from different parents to be implanted is extremely small.

The test can also be used to rule out the possibility that the surrogate mother may have fallen pregnant naturally at a similar time to the IVF procedure.

DNA tests are also a useful way of proving a biological relationship so can be used by new parents to apply for a parental order, which will transfer legal rights from the surrogate to the baby’s mother and father.