Chinese baby born four years after parents' death

The couple's grieving parents had to file two lawsuits

The couple's grieving parents had to file two lawsuits

A baby of a Chinese couple who died more than four years ago has been born to a surrogate mother. The couple had been undergoing fertility treatment before they died.

After the accident, their parents fought a long legal battle to be allowed to use the embryos.

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

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

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.

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. They would eventually hire a 27-year-old mother from Laos to carry and deliver the child for them. The eggs were only allowed to be transferred from the Nanjing hospital if another hospital agreed to store them, but with surrogacy being against the law in China, finding an institution to facilitate proved hard.

Finally, they won the rights to the embryos and Tian Tian (which means "sweet" in Chinese) was born to a surrogate mother in Laos on Dec 9 a year ago. Given the legal ambiguity around untransplanted embryos, the group had to look outside the country.

Eventually, they worked with a surrogacy agency and decided on Laos - given how commercial surrogacy is legal in the country.

The parents of the couple also had to find a surrogate overseas, as surrogacy remains illegal in China.

Little Tiantian was born in December and, according to Liu's mother, he looks just like his father.

Following the birth and with no parents left to prove paternity, the new grandparents had to provide blood and take DNA tests to prove their relationship with Tiantian and keep custody.

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

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