A party was held at Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge, UK, this weekend, to celebrate the 25th birthday of Louise Brown, the world's first baby born from IVF in July, 1978. More than 1000 people conceived by IVF, as well as their families and some of the clinicians who helped them, were there to mark the occasion.
Despite her famous name, the event marked Louise Brown's first public appearance as an adult, at the fertility clinic set up by Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe - the men who created Louise - in 1980. 'I just get on with my life normally' she told journalists at the event. When asked how she felt to be the centre of attention, she answered 'weird', adding 'but it's so nice to be here with everybody, to see all the other IVF babies'.
Professor Edwards was there to mark the occasion, with Peter Brinsden, current director of Bourn Hall. Patrick Steptoe died in 1988. The event was also attended by Alastair Macdonald, the first IVF boy, and Natalie Brown, sister of Louise and the world's fortieth IVF baby. Natalie was also the first person born from IVF to have a child.
Professor Edwards described the day as 'a celebration of success' and expressed enthusiasm about scientific developments in the world of IVF. But, he added, 'there are a lot of questions still to ask. A lot of work has to be done'.