So, you want two of your characters to have a child, but going through a normal pregnancy isn't an option. If the story is Speculative Fiction
, the universe's Phlebotinum may be sensitive to the Power of Love
or able to generate a new life form by using some kind of contribution from two different people, thus bringing their Phlebotinum child into existence.
Having such a child means both that the couple can get it in much shorter timespan and it can age much faster
or just be born partly or fully grown
. As an extra bonus, the child's nature can explain Plot-Relevant Age-Up
, Absurdly Youthful Mother
, the female variant of Luke, You Are My Father
and Homosexual Reproduction
. It can also bypass one of the obvious side effects of Can't Have Sex, Ever
An essential element of this trope is that the Phlebotinum child wouldn't have existed, or at least been in the same plane of existence as the other characters, without something from each of its "parents" combining or getting mixed together one way or another. The nature of what got mixed can include anything that is NOT an actual sperm and egg or the natural conception means of the parents's species. The way these got mixed can include anything that is NOT the parents mating in a way that would have a decent chance of producing offspring without the Applied Phlebotinum
. Note that this excludes in-vitro fertilization or any obvious fantasy or science-fiction counterpart to it.
If more than two people are involoved in the child's conception, this trope can be the supernatural counterpart to Extra Parent Conception
. Pregnancy will be either absent from the child's generation process or shorter than what would be normal for the mother
. In the absence of pregnancy, the parents may have Doorstop Baby
-like scenario with the child before finding out the truth. In the latter case, the child may or may not have been generated in a Uterine Replicator
or something similar.
Another essential part of the trope is that the parents accept the child's existence. They can take care of it, show it affection or at least keep an eye on its well-being if it can take care of itself. The child will usually love them back. Parents for a Day
is a frequent consequence of this. However, Rule of Drama
rarely stops here when it comes to these children.
They are frenquently in Uncanny Valley
, Sentient Phlebotinum
or a Living MacGuffin
. Any of these or just plain Fantastic Racism
can cause them to be mistreated at best and their life to be in danger at worst. Their very nature may keep them from existing for very long in the first place or be a danger to themselves and/or their parents. Phlebotinum Children at any rate tend to have a death rate much higher than natural born ones, and their end is usually seen as less tragic by writers. The ones that get to live can still be Put on a Bus
or have other problems linked to how they were able to exist in the first place.
That trope has apparent overlap with, yet is different from Bizarre Alien Reprouction
, aka non-humans that reproduce in a strange way : it may be an unusual means of reproduction to the audience, but it's still the natural way of having babys from the "alien" point of view. If a human gets pregnant (female or not
) or is the father, the only weird thing is the the lack of biochemical barriers
. However, nothing keeps non-humans from having Phlebotinum children of their own. The trope can still apply if it's established that the child's orgins have something supernatural or strange considering the parent's species or nature In-Universe
Specific cases can fall into :
- Love Imbues Life: In cases where the love is given by two people or more.
- Wonder Child: If natural conception is impossible due to the mother being too old.
- Mix-and-Match Man: In cases where at least one of the parents exists as a seperate entity from the child.
- Mystical Pregancy: The supernatural conception variation.
- Whether Designer Babies and in general Phlebotinum using genetic material that is not sperm and egg can qualify is very context-sensitive. If a child born of it is enough of a freak event to qualify as a Plot Point, it falls into this trope. If actual sperm and eggs are used and/or the Phlebotinum is routinely used to produce children, it doesn't qualify. Too much is when pepole born that way are so frequent that it's considered normal by at least some people In-Universe.
Compare Convenient Miscarriage
that is the closest non-Speculative Fiction
seems to be able to get if the child dies. Compare and Contrast That Thing Is Not My Child!
, where the child can have similar birth circumstances, but gets rejected by whoever involuntarily contributed to its existence (usually for a good reason).
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
Anime and Manga
- Reinforce Zwei in Lyrical Nanoha is a Unison Device, a type of magitek Robot Girl, who was "born" from Hayate's Linker Core (magical "heart"). The "conception" part comes from the fact that Hayate's Linker Core previously merged with that of her late Unison Device, Reinforce Eins, so Zwei bears resemblance to both of her "parents".
- In Sword Art Online, the child-like AI Yui was able to exist in the game's main world thanks to the love Kirito and Asuna have for each other, and considers them her parents. Kirito and Asuna consider her to be their child, but the plot kept her from lasting very long as she ended up making a heroic sacrifice to save them. Also a subversion of the death outcome as her data got saved and got to be restored later on. On an additional note, Kirito and Asuna are both in their mid-teens.
- In The Avengers Scarlet Witch used magic to get pregnant from her husband The Vision. The magic she had drawn on however turned out to be from a demon who decided to erase her twin sons from existence.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic My Little Mommies, the mane six explore an old mansion that turns out to be an abandoned base of an ancient villain. A mirror enchanted to perform LEGO Genetics, which the villain used to create monstrous hybrids, activates in their presence, mixing genes from each pair of mares and creating 3 female foals for them.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire Danerys may have been invoking this trope when she decided to hatch her dragons on Dorgo's pyre while she was also inside it. Mirri Maz Duur can be considered to be a "third parent" in the process.
- In Star Trek: Voyager, the Droid "One" existed due to a combination of Seven's nanobots and the Doctor's mobile emitter and self-terminated to keep the Borg from assimilating him. Both the Doctor and Seven were more or less parenting him during his almost Overnight Age-Up.
- Star Trek: Enterprise} A hybrid clone child was produced using apparently stolen DNA (unspecified what kind) from Starfleet Commanders Trip Tucker and T'pol. Neither parent was even aware of the child's conception, but once they found out they accepted her quickly enough.
- In Game of Thrones, Danerys may have been invoking this trope when she decided to hatch her dragons on Dorgo's pyre while she was also inside it. Mirri Maz Duur can be considered to be a "third parent" in the process.
- In Doctor Who episode "Journey's End", the hand the Doctor lost soon after regeneration produces a clone after it is touched by Donna Noble. This creates a clone of the Doctor that is half-human.