Beth and her husband Warren
A woman has begun a legal bid to prevent her dead husband’s frozen sperm from being destroyed.
Beth Warren, 28, has been told by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that the sperm cannot be stored beyond April 2015.
Her husband, Warren Brewer, a ski instructor, died of a brain tumour at the age of 32 in February 2012.
His sperm was stored before treatment, and he made it clear his wife should be allowed to use it posthumously.
I do not know what will happen in the future and I would like to have the choice left open to be able to have my husband’s child as I know he would have wanted.”
The couple, who were together for eight years, married in a hospice six weeks before his death. She subsequently changed her surname to Warren.
“I understand that it’s a huge decision to have a child who will never meet their father,” said Mrs. Warren, who lives in Birmingham.
“I cannot make that choice now and need more time to build my life back. I may never go ahead with treatment but I want to have the freedom to decide once I am no longer grieving.
“My brother died in car accident just weeks before my husband’s death, so there has been a huge amount to cope with.”
Mrs Warren was initially told that her husband’s last consent form lapsed in April 2013, but has subsequently been granted two brief extensions amounting to two years. The frozen sperm is stored at the CARE fertility clinic in Northampton.
Her lawyer, James Lawford Davies said the 2009 regulations created injustice.
“Common-sense dictates that she should be allowed time to recover from the loss of her husband and brother and not be forced into making such an important reproductive choice at this point in her life.”
Mr Lawford Davies, whose firm is not charging Mrs. Warren to represent her, said there were a number of inconsistencies about the regulations.
The sperm has to be used by April 2015, but if it was thawed and used to create embryos, these could be stored for a further seven years.
The time limit also means that Mrs. Warren could use the sperm to create one child but not a second.
There is also no restriction on the sperm being exported, which would mean Mrs Warren could be treated abroad in the future, but not in the UK.
The case will be heard next year by a judge from the Family Division of the High Court.
Source: BBC Health News