When the first test-tube baby was born, it wasn't just the beginning of a new life but of a whole new approach to infertility. Olga Craig talks to some winners and losers in the IVF lottery and asks where do we go from here?
A single word, splashed across the front page of a national newspaper, said it all: superbabe! In a photograph below, swathed in a soft blanket, was the baby whose birth had healed the heartache of her childless parents and brought hope to millions of infertile women: Louise Joy Brown, the world's first test-tube baby, who was born in Oldham General Hospital minutes before midnight on July 25 1978.
Delivered by caesarean section and weighing just 5lb 12oz, little Louise was the daughter of John and Lesley Brown, a Manchester couple. She was conceived by in vitro fertilisation, during which her mother's eggs were fertilised by her father's sperm in a test tube and she became, to her parents' delight, the first child to be born using the procedure pioneered by the British fertility experts Robert Edwards...