Grandparents produce a child from deceased son’s sperm

Publié le 12 Oct, 2018

In response to a request from a British couple, Californian fertility specialist, David Smotrich, used the sperm of their 26 year-old son, who had died in a car accident, to produce a child. “The deceased’s body was not discovered until forty-eight hours after the accident”.


The young man had been an only child. His sperm was harvested by a urologist, frozen and exported one year later by a medical transport company.


“Producing a child using post-mortem sperm is extremely rare. I have only carried out this procedure five times”, the Professor explained. “This couple were desperate to find someone who could give them a heir. They wanted a boy. What we did isn’t available in the United Kingdom where gender selection is not legal”. He was told that the grandparents “had been very precise’ about the ‘type and calibre’ of the egg donor and surrogate mother, both of whom are American”. According to the young man’s parents, both women would have been an “ideal wife for their son ‘in terms of physical appearance, intelligence and education’. 


The parents, the doctor who harvested the sperm and the company that stored and exported the specimen have contravened British law, primarily because the deceased son had not given his prior consent for the collection and use of his sperm. For Allan Pacey, former President of the British Fertility Society , “the grandparents and the other individuals involved have probably committed a crime”.


The procedure allegedly cost between £60,000 and £100,000. The child, who is now 3, would live in the United Kingdom with his grandparents .


For further reading: 

Post-mortem insemination: “no justification for medical intervention”

post-mortem insemination or the death of parentage

Post-mortem insemination: is there a “right to being a biological parent”?

Times of Israël (10/09/2018)

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