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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 09:31 GMT
Twins for surrogate grandmother
Newborn baby
Surrogacy by relatives is uncommon
A woman has given birth to her own grandchildren after becoming a surrogate for her daughter.

A London-based couple enlisted the help of their 43-year-old relative, who lives in Gujarat, India.

Fertilised eggs from the couple were implanted, and twin babies - a healthy boy and girl- were born in India yesterday.

The daughter could not have children naturally because she did not have a womb of her own.

Surrogacy involving relatives is not uncommon - in the UK, non-related surrogates can be used provided no money apart from genuine expenses, normally between 4,000 and 10,000 a time, changes hands.

In this case, the couple could not find a suitable non-related surrogate in the UK.

Society fears

Surrogacy is not completely accepted by Indian society - the grandmother told a newspaper she feared that agreeing to carry her daughter's children might jeopardise the marriage prospects of her other two daughters.

It's an act of remarkable altruism
Professor Lord Robert Winston, Hammersmith Hospital, London
She has remained anonymous, and stayed away from home in the run-up to the birth.

The couple now intend to bring the babies back to live in the UK.

Dr Nayana Patel, the fertility specialist who implanted the embryos into the grandmother, said that the family were "overjoyed".

She said: "Finding a surrogate mother was almost impossible in the UK, so they came to India.

"Initially there was an inhibition on the part of the grandmother but eventually she agreed."

Both children, delivered by caesarean section, are doing well, as is their grandmother.

Professor Lord Robert Winston, from Hammersmith Hospital, said he had few "difficulties" with the concept of a grandmother giving birth to her grandchildren.

He said: "It's an act of remarkable altruism."

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