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No, photo of babies born at IVF centre in India – not 10 babies born to South African woman

A photo posted on Facebook in June 2020 shows 11 small babies lying on a hospital bed, with seven adults in medical scrubs standing behind them and smiling into the camera.

“Waaat!!! Shocking news A South African woman gave birth to 10 babies,” its caption reads.

The photo was posted soon after reports emerged that a woman in South Africa’s Gauteng province had delivered 10 babies in a single birth, breaking the Guinness world record. But the Gauteng government dismissed the reports as a hoax and an inquiry has since established that the story was false. 

So what does the photo really show? We checked.

BabiesSA_False

Babies born on a single day to 11 mothers

The first red flag is that there are 11 babies in the photo, not 10.

A poster on the wall behind the people in scrubs reads: “21st Century Hospital Test Tube Baby Centre Surat”.

A Google Maps search for “21st Century Hospital Surat” locates it in Gujarat, western India.

A Tineye reverse search of the photo reveals that it’s been online since at least 2012.

A Google reverse image search of the photo with the search term “test-tube babies Surat” returns several articles debunking claims that one woman had given birth to 11 babies in Surat.

The oldest instance on the search shows the image was posted after the delivery of 11 babies on 11 November 2011 at the 21st Century Hospital in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) centre in Surat. 

The centre posted the photo on the Nadkarni IVF blog along with others taken from different angles.

The blog post is dated 9 February 2012 and titled “Truth about 11.11.11 babies”.

“On 11.11.11 a special day, 11 women who had conceived with IVF (Invitro fertilization-Test Tube Baby Treatment), at our 21st Century Hospital & Test Tube Baby Centre, Station Road, Surat, Gujarat, INDIA were delivered by elective caessarian section,” the post reads.

“In all 13 babies delivered from 11 mothers, 9 singleton pregnancies and 2 twins. This is the ‘World Record’ for the date and all were test tube babies.”

The photo shows the babies of 11 mothers, born in India.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

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Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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