You know reproductive technology? This grieving woman just crossed a line.

After years of an intense legal battle, a grieving mother has been given permission to carry her dead daughter’s baby to term. And she has crossed a very contentious line.

A 60-year-old woman in the UK has won a court appeal to fertilise the frozen eggs of her deceased daughter, and carry her daughter’s baby – her grandchild – to term.

The decision comes following the death of the woman’s daughter from bowel cancer in 2011. She was just 28.

Her mother was denied access to her daughter’s eggs by the high court last year, when the UK’s regulating body the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority proved there was no written consent from the daughter to release the eggs.

Now, a team of lawyers has convinced the Court of Appeals in London, before a panel of three judges, that “all available evidence” points to the daughter’s approval of the plan.

It was reportedly her wish that her mother “bear her child” after her death.

The childbirth questions you were too afraid to ask. Post continues below video.

The idea now, is for the mother to take her daughter’s eggs to a clinic in New York, where they will be fertilised with donor sperm.

The 60-year-old woman will then carry the baby to term, and raise the grandchild-come-daughter as her own.

Is this taking fertility and reproductive technology too far?

It’s certainly setting a difficult (dangerous?) precedent in a number of ways.

First, there’s the prickly, unsettling, not-quite-sure-what-to-think-of-it issue of using the eggs (or sperm for that matter) of deceased people.


You have to wonder about the children. These are children who have been created in the name of someone who they will never meet, or know or love.

It’s different to donor sperm, or donor eggs, that are donated to parents who desperately want to have a child because they are often physically unable to.

Is bringing a child into the world to ‘live the legacy’ of a deceased parent, or to re-create someone who has been lost, a good enough reason to create an entirely new life?

There’s also the complications that will (surely?) arise from a grandmother carrying her daughter’s child to term.

What will be the impact of being raised by a grandmother, who is also a ‘mother’ (in every sense of the word)?

Someone who will be at least 70, when the child is 10, at least 80 when the child is 20.

It’s a difficult thought to reconcile. Is it in the child’s best interests?

But this, of course, brings us to the issue of the eggs. If the grandmother is not allowed to fertilise the eggs, they’ll likely be left to perish.

Yes, there is a reason to celebrate and encourage research in fertility.

But, with knowledge and the power of, quite literally, granting human life, there is also great, great responsibility.

Too much ‘grey’ will lead to consequences that will affect future generations in ways that we, and a mother who is grieving the loss of her daughter’s life and family’s future, cannot pretend to understand.

00:00 / ???