Mar 08, 2009

Parents Denied Use of Deceased Son's Frozen Sperm

In the first case of its kind to be decided, a New York appeals court has denied the right of parents of a deceased son to use his frozen sperm to create a grandchild. In 1997, the son deposited sperm at a tissue bank. He had been diagnosed with cancer and wanted to ensure his ability to create children if he survived the diagnosis. He signed an agreement with the lab asking them to destroy the sperm in the event of his death. He died six months later.

While going through his possessions, his parents discovered that there was a sperm deposit and asked the lab to continue to preserve it while they fought for the legal right to use the sperm to create a grandchild.

The New York courts have denied their claim to either ownership of the sperm or for permission to use the sperm. Their reasoning?  New York law requires certain screening tests be done before sperm can be donated for public use, and such tests are impossible to conduct at this point.