Woman Using Dead Daughter’s Eggs to Give Birth to a Grandchild

A 60-year-old woman is using her daughter’s eggs to give birth to a grandchild, and says her daughter was aware of the plan.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

A 60-year-old woman in the UK isn't giving up on her fight to have a grandchild—even though her daughter died eight years ago. 

The courts haven't granted the unnamed woman's legal request to use her daughter's frozen eggs, so her case will go before the Court of Appeal in London this week, BBC News reported.

The woman said her daughter wanted to have a child using her frozen eggs before dying of bowel cancer in 2008. She reportedly told her mother to "carry my babies." 

In 2014, the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) denied the woman's request to use her dead daughter's eggs because there was no written consent on file. While the daughter filed paperwork to keep her eggs frozen, she didn't fill out any official documentation about how she wanted them to be used.

One of the woman's lawyers, Jenni Richards, said the daughter's eggs would "simply be allowed to perish" if no one uses them.

Representing the HFEA, Catherine Callaghan said in a written defense that the appeals court isn't supposed to decide how the eggs should be used; instead, it will determine whether the initial decision made about the woman's case stands. "Rather its role is to determine whether Mr. Justice Ouseley erred in concluding that the HFEA's statutory approvals committee acted lawfully and rationally in exercising its broad discretion to refuse to authorise export of the frozen eggs to a treatment centre in New York for use in the way proposed," Callaghan wrote.

The woman initially lost her High Court Case in June 2015, The Guardian reported. By February, however, she was granted the right to appeal the court's initial decision because it had been "too stringent," according to The Guardian.

If the woman succeeds in her request, she will reportedly be the first mother to give birth using her dead daughter's frozen eggs. Earlier in May, a 70-year-old Indian woman became the world's oldest mother when she gave birth to a baby after trying to conceive for more than 50 years, according to NBC News.

Richards did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.

Latest in Life