Australian woman, 62, wins right to take dead husband's sperm

Judge Fiona Seaward agreed the sperm could be harvested and stored.

Judge Fiona Seaward agreed the sperm could be harvested and stored.

Published Jan 4, 2024

Share

A 62 year old Australian woman can harvest her dead husband’s sperm, after convincing a judge the pair were considering having a baby before he died.

The couple started thinking about another child after their son, 31, was killed in a car accident in 2019. Six years earlier, their daughter, 29, had drowned during a fishing trip.

Spurred by these traumatic events, the couple started investigating whether the sperm of the husband, 61, could be used to impregnate a surrogate.

After he died on December 17, his wife asked the hospital morgue to collect and store his sperm.

But the hospital dragged its feet, according to legal documents, forcing the woman to seek an urgent order in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Researchers say reproductive tissue should ideally be collected within two days after death. Judge Fiona Seaward agreed the sperm could be harvested and stored but said separate court orders would be needed before it was used for fertilisation.

Although unusual, it is not unheard of for sperm to be harvested from dead partners in Australia.

In June 2023, an Australian woman was granted permission to retrieve sperm from her 29-year-old husband, who reportedly died after slashing an artery on a broken window pane.

AFP

Related Topics:

Australiacourt cases