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Posthumous conceptions

19 July 1999
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 017

An informal survey conducted by The Independent newspaper in the UK found that at least six children born last year were conceived after their fathers' deaths. Fifty of the UK's 101 fertility clinics were interviewed. It appears that 15 of these clinics had helped women with posthumous conception. There had been 24 cases where women had received sperm from dead spouses, resulting in the 6 births. Under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, it is illegal to take a man's sperm without his written consent but once consent has been granted, the Act does not govern a widow's use of that sperm. Men who store their sperm prior to potentially sterilising medical treatment have to complete Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority consent forms for its storage and use. Doctors can only take sperm posthumously with written consent in a letter or as part of a will.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
A joy that is conceived in the midst of tragic illness
The Independent |  12 July 1999
Concern over babies fathered from beyond the grave
The Independent |  12 July 1999
Life after death
The Guardian |  13 July 1999
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