It's a Huge Family Affair When Miracle Babies Gather to Honor Two Who Made Life Possible
updated 05/27/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/27/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT
They came to honor Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones, who pioneered the technique in the U.S. by which some 116 babies, conceived in laboratory Petri dishes and then implanted in their mothers' wombs, have been born since 1982. Before the "appreciation dinner" honoring the Joneses, the kids and their moms gathered outside the hotel in Norfolk for a portrait. Among the stars was Elizabeth Carr, 3½, the first American in vitro baby.
Inspiration for the reunion came during a picnic nine months ago when the parents of babies No. 38, No. 39 and No. 40 decided it would be nice to honor their extended family's "grandparents"—the Joneses. "We honestly feel they are Grace's grandparents," said Patricia Grimaldi, mother of baby No. 38. Jones himself said he and his wife "enjoyed seeing all our offspring. It was a nice family party." While the picture was being taken, baby No. 116 was born in California. "Our family," beamed Grimaldi, "gets bigger and bigger." Indeed, No. 117 was born a few days later.