The tot was born after an embryo was placed in a surrogate, following years of legal disputes over whether it could be used.
Couple Shen Jie and Liu Xi had been married for two years when they decided to try for a child via IVF.
But five days before one of the fertilised embryos was due to be transplanted into Liu, the couple died in a car accident in March 2013 in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
For the following three years, their four parents fought an intense legal battle for custody of the four fertilised eggs left by their late children. They had to bypass laws which make surrogacy illegal in China, meaning the birth is the first of its kind in the country.
At the time of the accident, all of the embryos had been stored safely and frozen at -196C in a liquid nitrogen tank in a hospital in Nanjing.
But it was then revealed the embryos could only be taken from the hospital they were stored in if there was proof that another hospital would also store them.
Other medial institutions in China were unwilling to get involved due to the the legal uncertainty around untransplanted embryos so working with a surrogate agency, they drove to Laos on the country’s border, where commercial surrogacy is legal, to find a mother.
The embryos also had to be transported by car as no airline was willing to take responsibility for a thermos-sized bottle of liquid nitrogen.
The embryo was implanted into the womb of a surrogate mother in Laos before the baby boy, named Tiantian, was born at a hospital in Guangzhou, China, in December.
Following the birth and with no parents left to prove paternity, the new grandparents had to provide blood and take DNA tests to prove their relationship with Tiantian and keep custody.
The child’s paternal grandfather Shen Xinan told The Beijing News that until he is older and able to understand the situation, they will tell Tiantian that his parents are overseas.
He said: “The boy is destined to be sad on his arrival into the world.
“Other babies have their fathers and mothers, but he doesn’t.
“We will definitely tell him in the future – how can we not?”