Louise Brown is 36, Bourn Hall remembers IVF pioneers

As Louise Brown, the world’s first “test-tube” baby, celebrates her 36th birthday, Bourn Hall Clinic remembers how the work of its founders made her birth possible and how IVF continues to give hope to millions of people across the world.

In the video opposite, Grace MacDonald, mother of the world’s first IVF boy, Alastair MacDonald, shares her story. Determined to have a child, she contacted Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe after she read of their groundbreaking work in the Lancet. She tells of how she discovered that she was to be the second women in the world to have an IVF baby.

Grace’s personal experience echoes that of so many childless couples. Steptoe and Edwards were dedicated to their cause and the successful birth of first Louise Brown and then Alastair showed for the first time that it is possible to overcome infertility.

Their legacy is described best by Edwards’ daughter, Jenny Joy who says of her father: “He’d definitely like to be remembered for all those babies, born to couples who want them more than anything in the world.”

If you are unable to watch the video in the player above you can view it on YouTube here.

More information

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You can see more about the history of IVF and Bourn Hall here.

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