Baby born four years after parents die in crash
A surrogate mother has given birth to a baby boy in China - four years after his parents died in a car crash.
The deceased pair were undergoing fertility treatments before the fatal accident in 2013. Their parents fought a drawn-out legal battle to gain access to the couple's fertilised embryos, kept in a hospital in the eastern city of Nanjing.
The baby boy - nicknamed "Tiantian", or "sweet" in Mandarin - was born on December 9 to a Laotian surrogate, the 'Beijing News' reported this week.
Surrogacy is illegal in China, forcing those who can afford it to look for potential options abroad.
"He's always smiling. His eyes are like my daughter's, but he looks more like his dad," new grandmother Hu Xingxian, told the state-run newspaper.
The grandparents had to clear several hurdles to transport the embryos out of China and prove the paternity and nationality of the baby once it was born.
"First we thought of using air freight, but none of the airlines were willing to take the thermos-sized bottle of liquid nitrogen where the four embryos were stored," Liu Baojun, a surrogacy expert who assisted the families, told the newspaper.
So the families decided to transport their precious cargo by road to Laos, where commercial surrogacy is legal.
The next problem was getting the baby back into China. Children born through surrogacy outside the country need to have a DNA test proving that one of the biological parents is a Chinese national.
To get around the issue, the Laotian surrogate mother was brought to China on a tourist visa and the families arranged for her to give birth at a private hospital in the southern city of Guangzhou.
The child was kept in the hospital for 15 days, until all four grandparents gave blood and DNA tests, establishing the baby was indeed their grandson and that both parents were Chinese nationals.
The ruling that allows parents to inherit frozen embryos created by their children has triggered a wide-ranging debate on Chinese social media.