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Appeal to find the first IVF babies conceived and born in Bristol

BCRM have launched an appeal to find the first people conceived and born in Bristol as the result of IVF so they can be included in celebrations to mark 40 years since the first IVF baby was born in the city back in 1984.

Although Bristolian Louise Brown, who was born in July 1978, is famously recognised as the world’s first test-tube baby, she was neither born nor conceived in Bristol and it was 1984 before the first IVF baby was conceived and born here.

Now the team at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) is asking for help in tracing those first Bristol IVF babies.

The appeal was launched in conjunction with the ITV West Country early evening news on 01 November, and the interview can be seen here:

ITV catch up: It starts 14:41 and finishes at 18:00 minutes

ITV news online :

Valentine Akande, BCRM’s medical director, said: “We would really love to include some of the first babies created in Bristol through IVF in the celebrations we are planning to mark the upcoming 40-year anniversary, and if possible also their parents who were brave and remarkable people - real pioneers of their time.

“It’s an impossible job for us to identify these individuals ourselves because of confidentiality issues around accessing old patient records.

“Also, in the early days of IVF patients didn’t always talk about their treatment so direct contact without consent would not be ethical.

“But for anyone who’s not certain, if you’re going to be 40 next year, it might be interesting to ask your parents if you were an IVF baby.

“Even if they’ve not told you before, there’s certainly no stigma attached to IVF nowadays. In fact it’s quite the reverse - anyone born through IVF can be absolutely sure of how much they were wanted.

“We’re very much hoping this appeal will be successful and would love anyone for whom it’s relevant to contact us at BCRM.”

IVF treatments 40 years ago would have taken place at Bristol’s first fertility centre, established in 1983 as a joint research project between the University of Bristol and Southmead Hospital, which eventually evolved into BCRM. https://www.fertilitybristol.c...

BCRM is now one of the UK’s leading fertility clinics and the longest established in Bristol, helping people from throughout the South West and Wales with fertility treatment for both private and NHS patients. The clinic is involved in innovative research and has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK. 

According to statistics recently published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the number of babies born worldwide through IVF is now at least 12 million.

Anyone with any useful information is invited to email