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Surrogate mother gives birth to grandchild

21 February 2011
Appeared in BioNews 596

A 61-year-old woman gave birth to her grandson in February because her daughter couldn't maintain a pregnancy. Kristine Casey, who may be the oldest woman to give birth to her grandson, volunteered to act as a surrogate after her daughter, Sara Connell, failed to bring two IVF pregnancies to term. Mrs Connell and her husband had also tried to conceive naturally for years without success. Mrs Connell said: 'The idea of having a family member being open to doing this for us was so extraordinary'.

Mrs Casey gave birth 10 years after menopause using the Connells' eggs and sperm thanks to hormone treatments that prepared her uterus for pregnancy. With them, the pregnancy success rate is independent of the surrogate's age. She became pregnant after the second course of IVF and gave birth by caesarean section 39 weeks later. Dr Susan Gerber, the doctor who delivered baby Finnean Connell in Chicago, said: 'The surgery itself was uncomplicated, and the emotional context of this delivery was so profound'.

Media reaction has varied with some finding story unsettling while others have welcomed the birth. Margaret Somerville in the Globe and Mail wrote an article titled 'When granny gives birth to her grandson, there's something wrong' in which she says 'my gut reaction was that this was ethically wrong'. Josephine Johnston, a bioethics researcher at The Hastings Centre, New York, however, said: 'It seems like an unquestionably loving and generous thing for a family member to do. It's one of those situations where outsiders might wonder if it's OK or healthy. But the experience of that child and his family will be that it's good'.

61-year-old Chicago woman gives birth to her own grandchild thanks to marvels of modern medicine
NY Daily News |  15 February 2011
Grandmother gives birth to grandchild: Weird or wonderful?
Time - Healthland |  15 February 2011
When granny gives birth to her grandson, there's something wrong
The Globe and Mail |  19 February 2011
Woman, 61, gives birth to her OWN grandson after being surrogate for her daughter
Daily Mail |  14 February 2011
Woman, 61, gives birth to own grandchild
Chicago Tribune |  11 February 2011
Woman gives birth to own grandson
Daily Telegraph |  13 February 2011
2 June 2014 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A woman from Orlando, USA, has become the oldest woman on record to give birth following IVF using her own, fresh eggs....
11 April 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas 
A British woman has given birth to her cousin, as part of a surrogacy arrangement to help her aunt. The 29-year-old mother of three became pregnant from sperm donated by her aunt's husband, to whom she was not related by blood. This resulted in the birth of a baby girl who is both her biological daughter and cousin....
14 February 2011 - by Natalie Gamble and Louisa Ghevaert 
Surrogacy has been around for many years and disputes rarely arise. There have only been a handful of published cases in the English courts where a surrogacy arrangement has gone wrong. However, the recently published case of TT (a Minor) (1) received national press and radio coverage, focusing on Mr Justice Baker's warning about the inherent risks of surrogacy, awarding care of the baby to the surrogate mother and yet again putting surrogacy in the media spotlight...
31 January 2011 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A UK surrogate who changed her mind about handing over a baby to a couple has been allowed to keep the child, the High Court has ruled....
15 November 2010 - by Rosie Beauchamp 
The London Women's Clinic (LWC) has reportedly received an application for fertility treatment by two gay men wanting to raise a child who wish to use one of the couple's sister as a surrogate....
1 March 2010 - by Dr Elly Teman 
Regulation is important, but we are not discussing the most fundamental issue at hand: the human experiences that make or break surrogacy relationships. What common factors can be identified behind the small number of surrogacy cases that wind up in court?...
29 October 2009 - by Nishat Hyder 
Following new UK government guidelines on surrogacy published last month aimed at improving the rights of surrogacy patients, Ministers are now facing a new legal challenge calling for further changes in the law....
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