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Australian court mulls woman's bid to use dead boyfriend's sperm

18 September 2017
Appeared in BioNews 918

An Australian court is considering whether a woman can use her dead partner's sperm to have a baby.

The case which went before the Supreme Court in Queensland on 15 September, is the first such case in the state, according to media reports.

Justice Sue Brown asked 24-year-old Ayla Cresswell and her lawyer for forbearance regarding a decision. 'I appreciate the anxiousness to have a decision in this matter, but I'm just going to have to ask you to have a bit more patience,' she told the court, according to the Courier-Mail.

Cresswell's partner Joshua Davies died suddenly in August 2016, and a court gave permission for his sperm to be harvested (see BioNews 874).

The sperm has been stored at an IVF clinic since.

Representing Cresswell, Kathryn McMillan, QC told the court that her client had the full support of her late partner's family, and would have their support in bringing up a child.

Several of Davies' friends provided affidavits to say that before his death he had expressed a wish to settle down and have children, according to ABC News.

However, Justice Brown noted that the case fell into a 'very novel area' and possibly into a jurisdictional gap.

The judge said she needed to consider if the original order allowing the sperm to be extracted was lawful, if the court had jurisdiction and, if the sperm was considered property, who was entitled to it, according to the Brisbane Times.

'This is not really something that is canvassed within our legal system to date,' she said.

'And it is a difficult issue of whether the courts' jurisdiction is in line with it, or we have the very unfortunate circumstance of a gap.'

The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is holding a free-to-attend evening event at the University of Sheffield on Tuesday 24 October 2017 entitled 'Life after Death: A Woman's Victory in Having Her Deceased Husband's Children'.

Speakers include Diane Blood (who 20 years ago won the legal right to conceive a child using the sperm of her deceased husband Stephen Blood) and Liam Blood (the son of Diane and Stephen).

Further details can be found here. Book your free place by emailing

Brisbane woman applies to Supreme Court to use dead boyfriend's sperm to have baby
ABC News |  15 September 2017
Toowoomba woman applies for ownership of dead partner's sperm
Sunshine Coast Daily |  15 September 2017
Toowoomba woman in court bid to use dead partner's sperm
The Courier Mail |  15 September 2017
Woman who wants to fall pregnant to dead man told to be patient
Brisbane Times |  15 September 2017
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