A baby boy has been born in China, four years after both his parents were killed in a car accident. The birth of the boy christened Tiantian – Sweetie in Mandarin , was made possible after his grandparents won a year-long court battle to use a frozen embryo, says China Daily.
A surrogate mother from Laos gave birth to the child in December, in a hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. His late parents, Shen Jie and his wife Liu Xi, had been undergoing fertility treatment before their death in a road accident in East China’s Jiangsu province, five days before a scheduled transplantation that would embed embryos created using IVF, to the woman’s womb to help the infertile couple have children.
Following the crash, the parents of both Shen and Liu spent years trying to persuade the authorities to hand over frozen embroyos from the dead woman that were stored at a local hospital. They finally obtained a court order allowing them to obtain four of the embryos, before “smuggling them over the border to Laos and finding a surrogate mother”, The Times reports.
Surrogacy is illegal in China. The case was further complicated by the fact that “China does not have a legal precedent for the parents of couples inheriting their children’s embryos”, reports the South China Morning Post.
Even after the court ruling in favour of the grandparents, the hospital holding the embryos insisted it would only give them to another medical institute, “but no other Chinese clinic would take them because of legal concerns”, adds The Times.
Hu Xingxian, Tianian’s maternal grandmother, said: “We named him Sweetie, because we hoped his arrival would bring sweetness to us after the bitterness.”
Their next dilemma is how to tell Tiantian about his unusual start in life. The paternal grandfather of the baby, Shen Xinnan, was quoted as saying that he only plans to tell Tiantan what happened to his parents when he is older, and that in the meantime, he will be told his parents are living overseas.
“For sure we will tell him what happened – what choice do we have?” Shen said.