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The History of ART and Surrogacy: Part Two

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:20am

So lets continue onto some of the amazing things that have been done all in the name of Assisted Reproductive Technology....Again, this information is from the BBC.

'Donor Child': APRIL 1995

JAYCEE Buzzanca was dubbed "Nobody's Child" after being legally declared to have no identifiable parents.

She was conceived in a California infertility clinic from donor sperm and a donor egg, then transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother recruited by a Los Angeles couple, John and Luanne Buzzanca.

Oldest mother: NOVEMBER 1997

There was a furore when it was revealed that a 60-year-old widow, Liz Buttle, had lied about her age to receive fertility treatment at a London clinic.

She gave birth to a son.

First 'frozen egg' baby: 1997

Frozen eggs were thawed and used in IVF
While doctors were already storing sperm, and embryos, at very low temperature, there were concerns about doing the same with eggs.

Eventually however, the technique of freezing and thawing proved safe in animals, and it was transferred to humans.

The first baby conceived this way was born in the US, and the first in the UK in 2001.

The technique offered young women whose fertility was threatened by illness to store their eggs until a time when they wished to have children.

Dead man's sperm: JUNE 1998

In an infamous court case, widow Diane Blood applied for the right to use sperm stored by her dead husband Stephen just before he embarked on cancer treatment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ruled that he had not given written consent for this, even though Mrs Blood insisted he had told her that she could go ahead.

The Court of Appeal ruled that she could go abroad for treatment with the sperm - and she has since had two children.

The issue of consent is a thorny one - two women went to court in 2003 to try to use embryos created during IVF treatment with their now ex-partners.

Both men oppose the use of the embryos.

Laser assisted-hatching: 1999

Even good quality embryos may not implant in a woman's womb, but repeated failure to do so may indicate a problem.

One solution, which resulted in its first births in 1999, was the use of a laser beam to breach an outer "shell" around the embryo - which may help its contents get established.

Chromosome screening: 1999

Chromosome screening could reveal flawed embryos
Chromosome, or aneuploidy screening, could be one way of reducing the rate of miscarriage following IVF treatment.

It is thought that, particularly in older women, screening could pick out faults which otherwise might reduce the chance of the embryo implanting successfully.

While the technique has been offered in the US and Europe since the late 1990s, the first pregnancy following aneuploidy screening in the UK is only just underway in 2003.


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