A Chinese couple who died more than four years ago had a son born to a surrogate mother, Chinese media outlets reported.
Shen Jie and Liu Xi had been married for two years and decided to go for in vitro fertilization, The Guardian reports. But five days before they were supposed to have a fertilized embryo transplanted into Liu, both of them passed away in a car accident in March 2013, in the province of Jiangsu in China.
The parents of the couple fought for three years for the rights to the four remaining embryos their deceased kids had left, in a complex and unprecedented legal case in the country, Beijing News said.
After multiple court proceedings, both sets of parents finally won custody of all the embryos. In January 2017, they sought the help of an underground surrogacy agency and drove to Laos to find a surrogate, as surrogacy is illegal in China.
In December last year, Shen and Liu’s baby boy was born in a hospital in Guangzhou. Liu’s mother named the child Tiantian, meaning “sweet.” Last month, the family celebrated Tiantian’s 100 days of birth by throwing a small party.
Liu’s mother, Hu Xinxian, said,
Tiantian’s eyes look like my daughter’s but overall, he looks more like his father.
However, there have been legal complications even after the birth. The two sets of grandparents had to have DNA tests carried out to prove their relationship to the child, in order for them to keep custody.
The new grandparents have not decided how they will tell the boy about the circumstances of his birth. Shen Xinan, Tiantian’s paternal grandfather, mentioned that until the child is older, they will tell him that his parents are abroad.
Shen said, “This boy is destined to be sad on his arrival into the world. Other babies have their fathers and mothers, but he doesn’t. We will definitely tell him in the future. How can we not?”