Let’s Talk: Should wives be able to use their dead husband’s sperm?

It would be unimaginable to lose your partner just when you were planning to have children. But what if you

It would be unimaginable to lose your partner just when you were planning to have children. But what if you could take his sperm and make the baby you dreamt of? Would you do it?

It’s the moral minefield that three women find themselves in at present, and it raises a number of questions.

This week a Toowoomba woman was granted the legal right to remove her deceased husband’s testes in order to get pregnant.

The man died unexpectedly in mid-April, prompting the woman lodged an urgent application in the Supreme Court to have his testes removed so she could one day use the sperm.

The court was given several sworn affidavits from the couple’s friends, who said they had “made no secret” of their wish for a child, reports the ABC.

In making his decision, Justice Martin Burns said the testes had to be removed within 24 hours of death if the sperm were to ever be used.

“Those orders will… permit mature reflection … whether to proceed with the use of any extracted material,” he said.

“If an application for use for the purposes of fertilisation is made, the orders proposed today will ensure that such an application will not be rendered futile”.

The court ruled the man’s testes were to be kept at an IVF facility of the woman’s choice however she must make a second application to the court before she’s allowed to use the sperm.

This echoes a similar case where a young Spanish woman has asked France to hand over her dead husband’s frozen sperm so that she can have his child in Spain, where she currently lives. Vice reports that unfortunately in France, using a dead man’s sperm for insemination is illegal, so she faces a lengthy court battle.

There are successes in this practice: one woman in the US is now pregnant with her deceased husband’s baby. Kristen Tripson lost her husband to cancer last year and got pregnant four months after his death, reports NZ Herald.

Interestingly, this case is not like the others in that Miss Tripson already had two children before her husband died.

What happened was Tripson and her husband had IVF in 2011 when he was first diagnosed, and froze some eggs. His eggs were then used after his death to create another child.

The question that remains is: is this right? Is this the husband’s will? And what will the consequences be for the child who grows up without a father? Tell us your thoughts below.




  1. No. they need to move on with life. Nobody should live in the past and it is so wrong to think otherwise and possibly unhealthy and cruel to any future child of the dead person. I am not trying to be cold hearted, I really feel it would be better for everyone long term. Life goes on and the reality is that you have lost your mate and they are never coming back even if you have their child. Find another loving person and have their child and the child will have both parents for the child to love back. Think of the child not yourself.

    • roy batkin  

      Yeah right? But i syppose it’s ok to go to a sperm bank. ???????????

  2. yes – especially if there was another child – this would mean both children would have the same parents which I think is so important. It would have to be agreed upon prior to the death of husband of course. I think the decision should be left to the couple concerned. I think this government is to over governed.

  3. When a spouse dies a marriage is dissolved. On that basis the contract regarding children is void. However, if a woman wants to be inseminated why should she be denied? Women have children without partners every day of the week. The focus needs to be on the life created and not s tiny spermatozoa.

  4. [email protected]  

    Of course……no bones about it……why the discussion?

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