A MELBOURNE couple welcome a medical marvel believed to be Australia’s first “twiblings”.

“Twiblings” is a term used in IVF circles to describe two children conceived in-vitro at roughly the same time from sperm and eggs from the same people, but carried by two different surrogates.

It became a living, breathing reality for Melbourne couple Danielle and Sean just over a year ago, in the form of babies Ethan and Ava.

Danielle and Sean’s parallel surrogate pregnancy story was not without its final trials, with Ava’s dramatic entry into the world documented on factual reality show, The Embassy, on Wednesday night.

The birth of baby Ava, in Thailand to a commercial Thai surrogate, came four weeks after her “twibling” brother Ethan was born in Melbourne, carried by a voluntary surrogate — Danielle’s best friend.

With Danielle at home caring for Ethan, Sean had travelled to Thailand for Ava’s birth, and to complete the birth certificate, passport and citizenship formalities to allow him to bring her home to Australia.

With just two viable embryos remaining after more unsuccessful IVF implant attempts, the couple took one last throw of the dice.

With the odds of success running at less than 10 per cent, one embryo was implanted into their friend, the other into a Thai woman willing to be their commercial surrogate, both with success.

Now, more than a year after welcoming Ethan and Ava, the couple have drawn a curtain over their private lives as their children grow, but their battle — and the joy when it was over, remains a fond memory for Australian embassy staffer Trudy McGowan.

“To see him (Sean) so distraught, and who wouldn’t be when a baby is so sick, and then hear about all that had led up to tiny Ava, how could your heart not go out? They’d been through such a difficult time,” McGowan said.

“At the time, as it unfolded in Thailand, I was just focused on helping Sean and Ava. It wasn’t until I saw the footage of Ava and Danielle meeting for the first time at the airport that the emotion hit me. ”

The Embassy is on Channel 9 at 8.30pm Wednesday.

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  • WOW….i wish I had seen the show. How wonderful.


  • Will have to see if I can get a copy of this show. Glad they were able to get their children in the end.


  • Wow what a blessing to this family.


  • I was in tears watching this story when it was on ‘the embassy’. What a truly amazing gift this family have.


  • What an exciting time for this little family. All the best to them and their bubbas.


  • This is lovely. Lucky family.


  • All the very best to them.


  • yeah that is wonderful for them but it really raises the question about surrogates. Is this now the thing to do? can’t have a baby so pay poor women in other countries to do this service? Should australia make it legal here, so that the parents are able to be close with the carrier and get to EXPERIENCE the pregnancy as well? . If i wasn’t able to have a child, and was in this situation, i would want to be there for the carrier even just so they knew that i appreciated it. It is such a complicated thing but i don’t think that it needs to be. I feel sorry for these thai women. Do they legit want to help others or are they doing it just for the money Because they NEED to? I hope these ladies are not being taken advantage of but this is all so secret that you don’t hear their side of the story. It really is a complicated thing. Baby gammy’s story is the sadder side to all of this. I am glad that this story had a happy ending though.


  • Amazing! Congratulations to the whole family. What an amazing story for these two little twiblings to share as they get older.


  • Beautiful, bless them all !! Happy for this couple that their dreams came true !


  • That’s amazing story, very happy for them they were able to bring Ava to Australia a become a family! Wishing them all the best only!!! :-)


  • oh bless – I hope you all live long and happy lives


  • Wow, this is an amazing story. Dream do come true.


  • It pays to never give up.


  • I watched the show and it was absolutely lovely and emotional.


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