A 59-year-old grief-stricken mother in the UK is fighting for the right to give birth her dead daughter’s child by undergoing in vitro fertilization using her daughter’s previously frozen eggs.
According to UK Daily Mail, the woman is desperate to win in her legal battle to birth her own grandchild. Her daughter, an only child, froze her eggs in 2008, prior to her death due to bowel cancer at only 23-years-old. The woman and her husband claim it was her daughter’s last wish for her mother to birth her children, using the eggs she had saved, and a donor’s sperm.
No fertility clinic in the UK has approved the woman for IVF procedure. Due to the would-be grandma’s age, the chances of a successful impregnation are very slim, and the procedure would pose health risks to her and the fetus. Although the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has denied approval to the hopeful couple a grand total of three times, a clinic in New York City recently agreed to move forward with treatment for the couple, given that they are able to win the legal bid and have the eggs shipped to the USA. (HFEA declined their application to export their daughters eggs due to the fact that their daughter didn’t give written consent before her death.)
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It is not unheard of for a woman to give birth to her daughter’s children through IVF, normally due to fertility issues or other health related problems. In 2012, a woman in Maine gave birth to her own grandson (going as far as to call it “babysitting for a few months”) because her daughter had a heart condition which made it dangerous to have a child.
However, this would be the first time in the world that a woman gives birth to her dead daughter’s child. The public, politicians, and campaigners alike have condemned the couple’s plans for the use of the eggs so long after it’s biological mother has passed away. With so many roadblocks ahead, if the court’s do not approve the couple for the use of the eggs, they will be destroyed in 2018, a decade after being frozen.
What do you think about this debate? Would you feel comfortable with your mother (or mother-in-law) carrying your child to term after your death?
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