In China, a baby boy was born to a surrogate mother four years after a car accident claimed his parents’ lives.
The baby, nicknamed Tiantian or “sweet” in Mandarin, came into the world in December 2017. His parents, Shen Jie and his wife Liu Xi, were undergoing fertility treatments at the time of their deaths, in March 2013. Tiantian’s surrogate mother gave birth to him using one of the couples’ four fertilized embryos.
Tiantian’s journey to the world was not without obstacles.
For starters, China has no regulations regarding the disposal of non-transplanted human embryos. It also has no law that allows parents to inherit their children’s embryos. It took the parents of Shen Jie and Liu Xi two lawsuits and four years to finally claim the couple’s embryos from a hospital in Nanjing.
However, their difficulties didn’t end there. Since surrogacy is illegal in China, Tiantian’s grandparents had to go through an underground surrogate agency to hire a 27-year-old woman from Laos to be Tiantian’s surrogate mother. In the end, despite all odds, Tiantian’s grandparents prevailed and Tiantian was born.
Tiantian’s grandparents are overjoyed to have their bloodlines continue through their grandchild, who is now healthy, happy, and safe. Tiantian’s paternal grandfather, Shen Xinnan, organized a small party on March 18, to celebrate Tiantian’s first 100 days.
Shen Xinnan does not plan to tell Tiantian the truth about his parents’ deaths until he is much older. For now, he will only tell Tiantian that his parents are living overseas.