Chinese baby born four years after parents' death in vehicle crash

Posted April 13, 2018

A surrogate mother in China gave birth to a baby boy whose parents died in a 2013 auto crash, according to a report.

Couple Shen Jie and Liu Xi had been married for two years when they chose to try for a child via IVF.

However, Shen Jie and his wife Liu Xi died in a vehicle accident on Mar 20, 2013, just before a scheduled procedure to transplant the embryos, according to the report.

For the next three years, the parents of Shen and Liu fought for the rights to four frozen embryos left by their late children in a complicated and unprecedented legal case in China, according to the Beijing News. They decided instead to search for a surrogate outside of the country and found the woman from Laos. In December 2016, the surrogacy service received the embryos, which it drove to Laos in early 2017.

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They nicknamed him "Tiantian" (or "little sweet"), for the joy he brought after years of bitter legal battles and crushing loss.

At the time of the accident, the embryos were stored safely in a Nanjing hospital, frozen at minus 196 degrees in a liquid nitrogen tank, writes BBC, adding that a court battle gave the four grandparents-to-be the right over the fertilized eggs. The soon-to-be grandparents eventually won custody and baby Tiantian was born by a Laotian surrogate last December, reported The Beijing News.

In December previous year, the baby "boy" was born in a hospital.

Eventually they found a surrogate in Laos but, according to Time magazine, the eggs had to be transported across the border by vehicle because no airline was willing to take the embryos, which were encased in a thermos of liquid-nitrogen. Last month, the family celebrated Tiantian's 100 days of birth by throwing a small party.

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"His eyes are like my daughter, but he looks more like her dad overall".

"This child came into the world with sadness". Shen Xinan, Tiantian's parental grandfather said. Other babies have their fathers and mothers, but he doesn't.

"We will definitely tell him in the future - how can we not?"

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