A 20-year-old woman from Rome served as a surrogate mother for her own mother, an Italian newspaper said, and the Vatican on Saturday called the case "unacceptable experimentation."

Newspapers have reported that the younger woman recently gave birth to a boy at a Rome hospital after carrying to term the artificially fertilized egg of her 48-year-old mother. The sperm of the daughter's 35-year-old stepfather was reportedly used to fertilize the egg.The recent reports have touched off a debate in medical and religious circles over the ethical questions raised. Some doctors and scientists have expressed doubt that the episode occurred.