First U.S. 'Test-Tube' Baby Becomes A Mom : Shots - Health News The first American baby to be born with the help of in vitro fertilization is now a woman and a mother. Almost three decades later, she gave birth to baby boy, conceived the old-fashioned way.
NPR logo First U.S. 'Test-Tube' Baby Becomes A Mom

First U.S. 'Test-Tube' Baby Becomes A Mom

Elizabeth Carr, the first "test-tube" baby born in the United States, celebrates her first birthday with parents, Judy and Roger Carr, Dec. 30, 1982, in Norfolk, Va. AP hide caption

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It may be a mark of how commonplace fertility treatment has become in such a short time that nobody in this country really talks about test-tube babies anymore.

Now, we're all much more likely to sling the technical jargon — such as IVF, or in vitro fertilization — just like the docs. And we sure say it a lot. Fertility treatments led to the birth of nearly 60,000 kids in 2007, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But back in 1981, the idea that a baby could born after an egg and sperm were combined in a lab was pretty radical. So the birth of Elizabeth Carr, America's first test-tube baby, in December of that year was huge news.

Now, Carr, whose married name is Comeau, is back in the headlines as the proud mom of her own baby, a 7-pound, 12-ounce boy named Trevor, born Thursday.

Carr figured she'd make the papers again as the first of the U.S. test-tubers to become a mom. And she had the gumption to write her own story, which appears in Friday's Boston Globe. All those early headlines seem to have made a good impression on her. She became a journalist and works on the Globe's website.

She answers the big question pretty quickly. Little Trevor was conceived the old-fashioned way — no test tubes or Petri dishes required.

After all the publicity, why did she decide to invite the world into her life again?

I follow the same principle my parents did: If my story helps couples or families learn about in-vitro fertilization, then the loss of privacy is worthwhile. People who have fertility issues deserve to know they can have healthy, normal babies.