Chinese baby born 4 years after parents' death

Siah Hwee Ang

Days before doctors were set to transfer one of the embryos into Liu, the couple died in a auto crash in Jiangsu.

As surrogacy is illegal in China, aided by an underground surrogacy agency, the parents of the couple sourced a surrogate mother in Laos in January 2017 and the baby boy, named Tiantian (which translates as "sweet"), was born in December of a year ago.

A baby boy has been born in China to a surrogate mother more than four years after the death of his parents in a auto crash.

The little boy - named Tiantian - which means sweetness - is the biological child of Shen Jie and Liu Xi, a couple from Yixing, East China's Jiangsu province, who died in an accident in March 2013.

The baby's parents had intended on having a baby through in-vitro fertilization (IFV) and froze several embryos.

Their unique case was controversial, since there is now no existing law in China that grants parents of couples inheritance of their children's embryos.

The soon-to-be grandparents eventually won custody and baby Tiantian was born by a Laotian surrogate last December, reported The Beijing News.

The case was sparked because China does not have a legal precedent for the parents of couples inheriting their children's embryos. Since no precedent existed, they were eventually granted the embryos.

But given the legal uncertainty around untransplanted embryos, it was hard to find another medical institution in China willing to get involved.

In Laos, the embryo was implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother and in December 2017 the boy was born.

The embryos also had to be transported by vehicle as no airline was willing to take responsibility for a thermos-sized bottle of liquid nitrogen.

Surrogacy is illegal in China. For now, they have made a decision to tell Tiantian his parents are overseas, until he's old enough to understand his background.

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

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