A child has been born in China four years after its parents died in a car crash. The child was born to a surrogate mother. The child was born in December 2017 although its grandparents could only celebrate the baby’s birth this month after overcoming many legal hurdles.
The child’s parents Shen Jie and Liu Xi had been married for four years and unable to conceive when they decided to try vitro fertilization.
Five days before the couple were scheduled to transplant one of the fertilized embryos into Liu, they were killed in a car accident in March 2013 in the Chinese coastal province of Jiangsu.
The couple’s parents then decided to pursue their children’s dream of a baby through lengthy legal cases as Chinese law prohibits surrogacy.
However, before this could happen the couple’s parents had to battle Chinese law to allow them to use the frozen embryos. The couple then had to go to court again to be allowed to move the embryos from the Nanjing hospital where they were stored.
Since Chinese law does not recognize surrogacy, the couple’s parents were forced to transport the embryos to Laos, where commercial surrogacy was legal. Laos is northeast of China.
However, there were still further complications, with the embryos transported by car to Laos after no airline would accept a thermos-sized bottle of liquid nitrogen.
The surrogate mother had to travel back from Laos to China to ensure that child, who turned out to be a boy, would be a Chinese citizen.
The two sets of grandparents then had to undergo DNA tests to prove that the child was their grandson. They have named the child Tiantian.
Tiantian’s grandmother Hu Xinxian says, ““Tiantian’s eyes look like my daughter’s but overall, he looks more like his father.” Tiantian means “sweet.”
Research from The Guardian, Beijing News and 9 News.