A 60 year-old woman is now a step closer to winning the legal right to give birth to her own grandchild.
The woman, referred to by the court as Mrs M, is petitioning to be allowed to use the frozen eggs of her dead daughter in order to have a baby. Mrs M claims it was the dying wish of her daughter, who passed away in 2011 from bowel cancer, to have her mother carry the baby and her parents raise him or her.
In 2014, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ruled that Mrs M would not be allowed to take her daughters eggs to New York, where she had intended to have them fertilised by an anonymous donor and then implanted. The decision was made as the count believed that Mrs M’s daughter had not been able to give her informed consent on the matter. The High Court of London upheld the decision.
However, after Mrs M moved to appeal the judgement, the Court of Appeal ruled that the government’s independent fertility regulatory body had set the bar too high in terms of informed consent. They ruled that there was “sufficient evidence of Mr. and Mrs. M.’s daughter’s true wishes” to have her mother bear and raise her own grandchild.
“They are never going to let me leave this hospital, Mum; the only way I will get out of here will be in a body bag. I want you to carry my babies. I didn’t go through the I.V.F. to save my eggs for nothing,” the daughter was heard to have said by the court, “I want you and Dad to bring them up. They will be safe with you. I couldn’t have wanted for better parents. I couldn’t have done without you.”
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority claimed its initial decision had been made purely on the grounds of determining informed consent, and that it had nothing to do with any potential moral questions arising from a woman giving birth to her own grandchild, or Mrs M’s age.