But five days before one of the fertilised embryos was due to be transplanted into Liu, the couple died in a auto accident in March 2013 in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
After the accident, the couple's parents gave a court battle to allow them to use the frozen embryos.
Once this challenge was met, the families had to set about finding a surrogate and, with this service illegal in China, they had to set their sights overseas.
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Then came the next hurdle: who would be the child's surrogate mother? And his name, Tiantian.
The tot was born after an embryo was placed in a surrogate, following years of legal disputes over whether it could be used.
In December previous year, Shen and Liu's baby boy was born in a hospital in Guangzhou.
At the time of the accident, the embryos were stored safely in a Nanjing hospital, frozen at minus 196 degrees in a liquid nitrogen tank, writes BBC, adding that a court battle gave the four grandparents-to-be the right over the fertilized eggs.
According to The Guardian, the new grandparents had to undergo DNA testing to prove their relationship with the baby to maintain custody.
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It was the first case of its kind and there was no regulation in China advising how to handle untransplanted embryos, so the grandparents were embarking on new legal territory.
The new grandparents have not yet decided how they will tell Tiantian about his background.
"His eyes look like my daughter's", Ms. Hu told Beijing News.
He said: "The boy is destined to be sad on his arrival into the world".
Tiantian's paternal grandfather told the newspaper that they didn't want to tell the child the truth about his parents until he was older. Other babies have their fathers and mothers, but he doesn't.
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It heard Dickenson spent much of the money on holidays and socialising. Another person gave money on four separate occasions.
He said: "For sure we will tell him what happened - what choice do we have?"