A Canadian fertility doctor is breaking a widely sensationalized story down to science basics, saying the experience of the so-called pregnant man who reportedly gave birth to a healthy baby girl last Sunday, is just a simple medical case.
Thomas Beatie, a 34-year-old who began life as a woman but underwent hormone therapy to become a man, reportedly gave birth to a girl, according to People magazine and ABC News.
Toronto fertility doctor Dr. Tom Hannam suggests although the details surrounding the parent may be unusual, the birth process was anything but.
"When you meet a patient who wants to become pregnant, the first thing you would do is just make sure that they would be healthy enough to carry a pregnancy through to term and anticipate a healthy baby," Hannam told CTV's Canada AM on Friday.
"And in this man's case, he was born a woman and had been on hormones, but he'd stopped them for about two years before even attempting this. So from a medical perspective it's actually quite straightforward. He was quite healthy."
Beatie still has female reproductive organs and stopped taking his twice-weekly doses of testosterone ahead of his pregnancy. He said it was a natural birth, rather than by C-section.
"The only thing different about me is that I can't breastfeed my baby. But a lot of mothers don't," he told People. Beatie had his breasts removed as part of his transition to a man.
The ABC News report said that the baby girl was born on June 29 at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Ore.
Beatie decided to carry the baby because his wife, 46-year-old Nancy, could not become pregnant. She had a hysterectomy as a result of endometriosis.
He was impregnated at home through artificial insemination, using donor sperm and his own eggs, according to People.
Hannam said that in Canada, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act requires that prospective parents who want to undergo fertility treatments also get counselling.
However, if Beatie had been subject to Canadian reproductive laws, he wouldn't have been excluded from the process of becoming a parent, despite the fact that reports say many doctors refused to treat him.
"Counselling, at the moment, is looking more towards what's best for the person who's going to deliver," said Hannam, director of the Hannam Fertility Centre in Toronto. "It's not a tool of judgement. They're not using it to elect who should become a parent and who should not."
Beatie, known in tabloids as the "Pregnant Man," made an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last April. He told Winfrey he started his sex-reassignment process about 10 years ago.
He is legally a man and lives with his wife in Oregon, where they operate a T-shirt printing business.