A widow in the UK has won a High Court battle allowing her to keep her husband's frozen sperm with a view to being impregnated with the sperm later.
Beth Warren's husband Warren Brewer, a ski instructor, died from a brain tumour two years ago, but signed paperwork before starting cancer treatment saying that his wife could use them after his death.
However, regulations from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) state that donated eggs or sperm can only be stored for long periods of time if the donor keeps renewing their permission. Lawyers representing Mrs Warren said that the regulator was taking an “excessively linguistic and technical approach.”
Mr Brewer's sperm were set to be destroyed in 2015, but the High Court's ruling means that they can be kept by Mrs Brewer until 2060, and used at her discretion. Judge Mrs Justice Mary Hogg said that “The evidence indicates that both Mr Brewer and his wife were in agreement. He wanted her to have the opportunity to have his child, if she wanted, after his death.”
According to the BBC, Mrs Warren said at the start of the legal bid that it would be a "huge decision" to have a child who would never meet their father.
She added: "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."
However, the HFEA has asked for leave to appeal against the decision, which Mrs Justice Hogg “relucatantly” granted.
In a statement, the authority said: "We had hoped that the court could find a way for Mrs Warren to store the sperm for longer without having wider implications for the existing consent regime.
"However, because the judgment acknowledges that written consent to store the sperm beyond April 2015 is not in place, the judgment may have implications for other cases in which the sperm provider's wishes are less clear."