Taiwan’s first test tube baby turns 25, celebrates with others

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s first test tube baby, who is now 25, gathered with over 100 fellow test tube babies yesterday at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital to witness the miracle of science that brought about his birth.

Among the gathering was mother Wang Mei-ling, who broke the nation’s record when she gave birth to three boys and three girls through the artificial reproductive technology. April 16, 1985, was one of the greatest milestones in Taiwan’s artificial reproductive medicine, when the nation’s first test tube baby, surnamed Chang, was born to high expectations. Chang is now getting his doctoral program at Department of Life Sciences of National Taiwan University (NTU). Yesterday was not the first time Chang attended the activities celebrating test tube babies. According to Chang’s godfather Chang Sheng-ping, director of the Department of Obstetrics and Reproductive Endocrinology at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, there are currently 3 million test-tube babies around the world. The Taipei Veterans General Hospital has to date performed artificial reproductions that yielded 3,267 births, many of whom are now of dating age. Chang said he had tried to set his godson up with Taiwan’s first female test-tube baby but revealed that the two failed to click, joking that he would “leave love to nature.” Wang had six children at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital with her Caucasian-American husband. The husband and wife team, who had their eldest daughter naturally, tried artificial reproduction methods for 45 months before they became fortunate enough to have two successful births, one to triplets and the other to twins. Wang said both she and her husband came from large families and loved children. After they had their daughter eight years ago, the couple tried to have more children and when they could not, they tried in vitro fertilization and gave birth to triplet sons. Wang wanted her daughter to have a sister and gave in vitro another shot, which resulted in twin daughters. When the whole family goes out, Wang said many people have mistaken them for kids in a kindergarten class.