Baby born four years after parents death in China

On December 9, 2017, four years after his biological parents had died in a auto crash, a baby boy was born by surrogacy in Guangzhou.

Parents Shen Jie and his wife Liu Xi had hoped to have a child through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) when they were killed in a auto crash in the city of Yixing, China.

After their death, their parents fought a legal battle to use the embryos and hire a surrogate to carry them. They decided instead to search for a surrogate outside of the country and found the woman from Laos.

Then there was the issue of citizenship and the surrogate had to travel to China on a tourist visa to give birth to the baby to ensure Chinese citizenship. "His eyes are like my daughter's, but he resembles his father a little more", she added.

Hu Xingxian, Tianian's maternal grandmother, said: "We named him Sweetie, because we hoped his arrival would bring sweetness to us after the bitterness".

According to The Guardian, the new grandparents had to undergo DNA testing to prove their relationship with the baby to maintain custody.

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The newspaper explained how the lack of precedent for a case of this kind had forced the couple's parents to go through a legal minefield before the surrogacy could proceed.

At the time of the accident, all of the embryos had been stored safely and frozen at -196C in a liquid nitrogen tank in a hospital in Nanjing.

The grandparents celebrated the baby's first 100 days by holding a small party last month.

Dr Ding Lijun, from the hospital that originally held the embryos, told China Daily that although hospital authorities were sympathetic to the families involved, they were cautious about handing embryos to individuals.

According to BBC, the four new grandparents said they were thrilled that they are able to continue the families' bloodline. Shen Xinan, Tiantian's paternal grandfather, mentioned that until the child is older, they will tell him that his parents are overseas.

  • Sonia Alvarado