Page URL:

Inquiry launched after UK prisoner given right to have child from jail

6 June 2011
Appeared in BioNews 610

A public inquiry has been launched by the UK's Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke after a newspaper's freedom of information request revealed a prisoner was granted permission to provide sperm for use in artificial insemination with his partner while in custody.

The Daily Mail's request revealed five further requests of a similar nature are believed to be under consideration while a further sixteen have been rejected in the last four years.

The prisoner, whose name, offences and sentence could not be revealed, was allowed by prison authorities to have a child with his partner, who was not in custody. Mr Clarke has, however, denied he had personally authorised such a request.

While Mr Clarke has launched an inquiry into the circumstances in which the permission was granted, other MPs have spoken out against the decision made by the prison authorities.

Priti Patel MP said it that providing 'nasty, vile criminals the right to have a family' was 'extraordinary' and called the reasons for the decision 'human rights nonsense'.

Under the UK's human rights legislation the Prison Service (as a public authority) is required to act compatibly with the rights laid out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

It is believed the decision was made so as to ensure compliance with the requirement to respect private and family life - the same consideration behind the decision to release convicted burglar Wayne Bishop, last week, so that he could look after his children.

The combination of these two decisions apparently led Phil Davies MP to raise the concern that a prisoner could now father a child from prison and then demand to be released so as to care for it. 'The whole point of being in prison is that your liberties are taken away from you. What's the point of locking people up if this pseudo-court, with the help of Ken Clarke, is going to give them all their rights back?' he said.

Clarke inquiry into prison's test-tube father
London Evening Standard |  06/11
Prisoner allowed to father a child from jail because of 'human right to a family life'
Daily Mail |  06/11
10 September 2012 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
The recent news reports that Ammar Zibden, a Palestinian imprisoned in Israel, has managed to smuggle his sperm out of prison and become a father highlight a number of problematic issues...
28 August 2012 - by Rose Palmer 
A Palestinian prisoner has reportedly fathered a son after his sperm was smuggled out of an Israeli prison where he was serving a life sentence....
11 July 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
An Australian man is seeking to overturn a ruling barring him and his partner from accessing IVF on the grounds of his previous conviction in 2003 for having sex with a 16-year-old student while he was employed as a teacher's aide....
12 July 2010 - by Chris Chatterton 
An Australian Supreme Court has allowed a woman to continue with her self-funded IVF treatment, after she was given an 18-month jail term for fraud last November...
8 March 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A drug dealer serving a life sentence is awaiting a Government decision on whether he can have artificial insemination, after being granted permission by prison bosses...
19 January 2009 - by Dr Anna Smajdor 
In October 2008, it was reported that a Spanish woman, Elena Beloki, had been granted permission to receive IVF treatment. Beloki is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence for her involvement with the Basque separatist organisation, Eta. Her fertility treatment will be carried out while on bail, and will...
30 April 2006 - by Professor Emily Jackson 
In the recent case of Dickson v UK, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), by a majority, decided that the British government's decision to deny a prisoner and his wife access to artificial insemination (AI) facilities was compatible with their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights, as...
24 April 2006 - by BioNews 
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that a British man who is serving a life sentence in prison for murder does not have the right to be allowed access to IVF treatment. Thirty-four year old Kirk Dickson alleged that the UK Government had breached his right to...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.