Baby born after parents die shows wonders of a grandparent's love
The baby boy's grandparents fought to see the process through until finally, he was born through a surrogate mother four years after his parents perished in a fatal car accident...
It might seem impossible to think that a baby born after parents diecould survive. But a baby boy in China has, thanks to surrogacy, as well as the unwavering devotion of his grandparents.
When Shen Jie and Liu Xi of Jiangsu, China were still alive, they always dreamed of having a child. So they had several embryos frozen with the intent of going through the process of in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
But sadly in 2013, the young couple died in a car crash. After their untimely demise, their parents decided not to let their children’s dream of being a mum and dad die with them.
They also saw the embryos as a way to preserve their family line. And so began a legal battle to gain the rights over the embryos.
Eventually, the parents were given custody of the embryos, considering that “the embryos left by Shen and Liu are the only carriers of the two families’ bloodlines, and they carry the memories of their parents and can provide emotional consolation to them.”
In 2014, they started to work on a way to get the untransplanted embryos after learning that it could only be transferred from hospital to hospital.
What’s more, surrogacy is not legal in China. So they had to find other alternatives. Two years later, they found an agency in Laos where commercial surrogacy is legal. After they sifted through 20 candidates over the course of a few years, they chose one surrogate mother.
On the 9th of December 2017, the surrogate mum gave birth in China. Since she was of Laotian citizenship, the grandparents had to prove that the baby was their grandson through blood and DNA tests.
After years of waiting and fighting, they finally became grandparents. They named the baby boy Tiantian, which means sweetness, hoping that his arrival would bring joy to both their families after the bitter fate their children suffered.
Like China, surrogacy is not a common practise in Singapore. Only married couples can choose to undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF) under Singaporean law. But, it’s worth noting that surrogacy is not a criminal offence in Singapore.
According to The Straits Times, more and more Singaporean couples are exploring surrogacy services, particularly in the United States.
In 2017 alone, The British Surrogacy Centre of California accepted 18 Singaporean clients. And they reported receiving over a 100 inquiries from Singaporeans — half were heterosexual couples, 30% were gay couples, while 20% were single men.
“The gay men need surrogacy because they have no (other) option as they cannot carry babies themselves, (while) a straight couple uses surrogacy because they have a medical problem,” Barri Drewitt-Barlow, the Centre’s chief executive explains to The Straits Times, “and, for years, the stigma that went with infertility was something a lot of women… couldn’t admit to or deal with. This is not the same any more.”
The entire surrogacy process costs anywhere between US$130,000 to US$150,000, inclusive of legal fees.
Naturally, the concept of surrogacy is still controversial for both religious and cultural reasons. But at the end of the day, we can all agree that advancements in science should help better our lives. And helping couples who dream about being parents create new life is truly a shining example of this.