A baby born was born in December of last year in China, but his biological parents passed away several years before he was even conceived. As the BBC reports, the boy’s birth is the culmination of a years-long legal battle fought by his grandparents to use frozen embryos that were put into storage by the couple.

The man and woman both died in a car crash in 2013, but prior to their deaths they had planned on one day having a child through in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Fertilized embryos from the couple were in storage at a nearby hospital, and while there were no legal guidelines in place to determine ownership of the embryos, the parents of both individuals fought for the right to have one of the embryos brought to term. 

Eventually, the deceased couple’s parents won the right to the embryos and choose a surrogate mother from Laos to carry their grandchild. Another hurdle emerged when airlines turned down the request to transport the frozen embryo by air. Instead, the delicate package had to be brought to Laos by car. Eventually, the surrogate was able to be implanted with the embryo and the woman gave birth to a baby boy nine months later.

Unbelievably, the legal quandary over the child still wasn’t over, as citizenship was difficult to prove based on the fact that both of his parents had died years earlier. All four of the grandparents provided blood samples with which to prove that the baby was indeed the offspring of their own children, and should be considered a Chinese national. The child, named Tiantian, will grow up never meeting his biological parents, but it sounds like the grandparents are more than happy to welcome him with open arms.

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