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Monday, May 11, 2015

This was my girl's dying wish, says mother who wants to give birth to her own daughter's baby

  • 59-year-old is attempting to use her daughter's eggs to become pregnant
  • She says that her cancer-stricken daughter begged her to 'carry her babies'
  • Her daughter froze her eggs when she was diagnosed with cancer aged 23
  • Died aged 28 in 2011 but told parents: 'I want you and dad to bring them up'

A woman attempting to use her dead daughter's eggs to become pregnant with her own grandchild told yesterday how the surrogacy was her child's dying wish.

The 59-year-old said her cancer-stricken daughter begged her to 'carry my babies' when she knew she had no hope of surviving the illness.

The bowel cancer victim, described as a 'very intelligent young woman', was desperate to have children and froze her eggs after she was diagnosed with cancer aged just 23.

She asked her mother to act as her surrogate, initially in the hope she would survive, but finally in the understanding she would not live to see her own baby. She died in 2011 aged 28.

In a landmark court case, the mother and her husband, 58, are fighting a decision from the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to stop them from using the eggs because their daughter did not give full written consent.

The woman, who can only be referred to as Mrs M, said her dying daughter told her: 'I want you to carry my babies. I didn't go through the IVF to save my eggs for nothing.

'I want you and dad to bring them up. They will be safe with you. I couldn't have asked for better parents, I couldn't have done this without you.'

If she succeeds it is believed Mrs M would be the first woman in the world to become pregnant using her dead daughter's eggs.

No clinic in the UK has agreed to treat her but a fertility centre in New York is ready to use donor sperm to fertilise the eggs and implant them into Mrs M's womb.

After she was diagnosed in 2005, the daughter, named only as A, was said to have asked doctors if surgery would affect her ability to have children.

Jenni Richards QC for the family, said: 'A had always wanted to have a family, this was incredibly important to her. She told staff [in hospital] that if her womb was affected she wouldn't want to be woken up from surgery.'

Gravely ill, she went through fertility treatment at IVF Hammersmith, West London, to harvest and store her eggs.

In 2011 Miss A realised she would not survive her cancer battle and begged her mother to go ahead with pregnancy, even after her death.

In a statement to the High Court, Mrs M said her daughter told her: 'They're 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.'

Mrs M said: 'I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that as far as A was concerned, her eggs were ... waiting to be born ... She had suffered terribly and this was the one constant in her remaining years from which she never wavered.'

Miss A signed paperwork in 2008 saying she wanted her eggs to be stored for ten years and to be used for treatment, not research.

Her family said they thought she had signed all the necessary consent forms so her wishes could be carried out.

But Catherine Callaghan, for the HFEA, said: 'The courts should be very reluctant to assume that because this course is what the claimants want, it's what their daughter also wanted.'

Miss A was an only child, meaning her frozen eggs represent her parents' only chance to become grandparents. A ruling is expected later this year.


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