Wife wins right to use sperm from her dead husband
Published 24/05/2011 | 05:00
AN Australian woman has won an unprecedented legal battle to use sperm taken from her dead husband who died just a day before he was due to sign the consent forms to start IVF treatment.
Jocelyn Edwards has been fighting to have a baby with her husband Mark's sperm since he died in an accident at work in August 2010. At the time, the couple had discussed fertility treatment after failing to conceive and were just one day away from signing the relevant consent forms.
Using sperm without the consent of the donor is banned in the state of New South Wales, where the couple lived. But yesterday Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme ruled that in the circumstances it was appropriate to allow Mrs Edwards (40) to use the sperm.
Justice Hulme said the choice was either to destroy the sperm or give it to Mrs Edwards and he ruled in her favour as the administrator of her late husband's estate.
"Although there is no direct evidence, the clear and only inference is that she desires to have a child with the aid of assisted reproductive treatment," he said.
"The evidence before me is clear that any child that will be conceived will be born to a loving mother and with a supportive extended family."
Mrs Edwards's lawyers had argued that she should be granted legal ownership of the sperm.
Speaking outside court, Mrs Edwards said her husband would be "so happy" with the decision. "It's the right decision. Mark would be so happy, we're going to have our baby. That's what I plan to do," she added. (© Daily Telegraph, London)