World first: 59 year old woman attempts to give birth to her own grandchild.

And, unsurprisingly,  it’s the first case of its kind.

A 59-year-old woman is embroiled in a legal battle to be able to give birth to her grandchild.

If you’re struggling to comprehend that sentence, you’re not alone, the complicated case is the first on record.

The British woman and her husband claim that it was their daughter’s dying wish that her eggs be fertilised with donor sperm and implanted into her mother’s womb. The woman wanted her mother to have the opportunity to become a grandparent, apparently.

The 59 year old’s daughter died in 2011 of bowel cancer, she was in her 20s. Prior to her death, she had her eggs frozen in the hope that one day she would be able to fall pregnant.

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The woman and her husband approached several fertility clinics after their daughter’s death. They hoped that they could create embryos using standard IVF treatment with their daughters eggs and donor sperm.

All of the UK fertility clinics the woman has approached since her daughter’s death are refusing to carry out the procedure.

Now, the mother has had her attempt to export her daughter’s eggs to a New York fertility clinic stopped by the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) because she has no written evidence of her daughter’s consent.

The deceased woman’s eggs will be destroyed in 2018 if the mother loses this legal battle.

The HFEA have confirmed the daughter did complete a form which gave consent for her eggs to be stored for use after her death, but failed to fill in another crucial form that would have identified how she wanted her eggs to be used. This rendered her consent invalid.

The HFEA committee have further revealed that the “strongest and only evidence” of her consent was a conversation she reportedly had with her mother when she was in hospital the year prior to her death.


The 59-year-old woman and her husband are preparing to challenge the HFEA’s decision in the High Court because they claim that their daughter told them this was what she wanted shortly before her death and that should be consent enough.

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The case has raised issues around what can and can’t be done with the eggs of a deceased person.

Head of the ARGC fertility clinic in London, Dr Mohammed Taranissi, told the Daily Mail: “I have never heard of a surrogacy case involving a mother and her dead daughter’s eggs. It’s fair to say that this may be a world first.”

This case is the first of its kind and raises the issue of using a deceased person’s eggs.

While some British politicians are condemning the mother’s move to attempt to give birth to her daughter’s child for health and ethical reasons, she is also garnering a lot of support.

Annie Casserly, who was a surrogate for her own daughter, told the Daily Mail:

“It depends on the woman’s health but if that was her daughter’s wish and she wants to honour that wish then it’s absolutely her choice. If you can keep a part of your child alive, anyone would do it, wouldn’t they? My heart goes out to them.”

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The case will now proceed to judicial review and will be heard in the Administrative Court, a division of the High Court.

If the woman’s legal battle fails, her daughter’s eggs will be destroyed, ten years after they were stored, in February 2018.

Do you think the 59-year-old woman has the right to give birth to her grandchild?