General Question

lovelace's avatar

If you want to have a baby by a sick or dying man, can sperm be taken to be used later?

Asked by lovelace (204points) January 30th, 2009

I’ve always wanted to know what would happen if the man I want to have kids with got sick or shot or something. Is there anyway I could still have his kid? I think about this especially when people die and their girlfriends/wifes/fiances are not pregnant and they have no other kids. I want to have kids by my boyfriend and we plan to do that whenever we get married but if something were to happen to him before we get married, I wonder if I could still make that happen??? Just curious.

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15 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, this can be arranged. Sperm banks would be the place to look for more information. However I’m pretty sure it needs to be authorized by the person giving the sperm, and there may or may not be any linking with you. For instance, if you two end your relationship, you will not have any right over the sperm.

lovelace's avatar

@dynamicduo thanks for the info. if i ever need to, hopefully not, i’ll remember that

cage's avatar

They might not allow it if he has a genetic illness.
It would be unethical to purposely preserve his ability to bare children who will be born with his illness and die young.

I might not be right on that one, I just wouldn’t be surprised.

squirbel's avatar

What you propose, cage, would be genetic discrimination, and not ethical.

mea05key's avatar

Of course you can. It can be done through in vitro pregnancy. Basically placing the ovum and the sperms in a tube. let them mate and then it can be inserted back into the girl’s uterus.

galileogirl's avatar

This is being done already and unexpected consequences have arisen. There have been instances of what to do in the case of divorce-would the husband have parental rights and responsibilities when his sperm was used without his consent. I think one case actually went to court in a case where an ex-husband had died and the ex-wife was trying to make the sperm bank release it to her. The problem hinged on if the sperm resulted in a child, would that child be entitled to a share of it’s father’s estate-even though the father had withdrawn permission after their divorce.

shilolo's avatar

First of all, this is already commonly done when men and women need to undergo chemotherapy that may damage their reproductive activity in the future. The sperm (or eggs) are cryopreserved for a later date. Secondly, it isn’t true that they need to be fertilized in vitro. If enough sperm are present, a fertile woman can introduce the sperm directly into her vagina at the time of ovulation. Certainly in vitro fertilization improves the odds of success, but is also much more expensive and laborious.

cage's avatar

@squirbel huh… thanks :)

Jack79's avatar

technically, yes, though I guess it would be harder than the usual process

morally and psychologically I would really not recommend it. I had a cousin who died aged 27 just a few months after he got married. His wife adored him, more than any woman has ever loved a man. She was right there by his side the whole time, and even kept contact with the family for years afterr his death. I often felt sorry for her for not having had at least a child to keep this contact. But now I truly think it was for the best. She eventually moved on, and even though I’m sure she still thinks of my cousin from time to time, I think her life is better than it would have been with his child. And of course for the child too.

amanderveen's avatar

If collected and stored properly, the sperm can indeed be used after a man has died. As shilolo stated, sperm or egg collection is commonly done when one partner will be undergoing sterilizing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. My husband and I went to a fertility clinic right before he had to go in for treatments. We were only recently married and still wanted to start a family. I imagine the rules vary depending on where you live, but in BC the sperm (or eggs) belong to the donator. The only way that someone else can use the sperm is with the donator’s consent. The only way to transfer ownership of the sperm is to dictate in your will who it will go to, or else to leave a notarized letter of direction regarding the stored sperm. Otherwise, the sperm is destroyed after the donator passes away. The storage contract we signed was crystal clear on that point.

In our case, the sperm was intended to be used for my husband and I to have a family together once he recovered from his illness. When we found out he was terminal, the issue arose of whether to do anything with the sperm after he died. He knew that his family would be delighted if I could have a child by him, even if he was gone – it would be a way of keeping a little part of him around, in a way. There was also the question of me possibly wanting to raise a child of ours on my own. He was willing to will the sperm to me, but was uneasy about it. On one hand, he didn’t want me to have a child just for the sake of his family and knew that they might unconsciously put some pressure on me to do so. He also didn’t like the idea of me struggling to raise a child alone. He felt even more uncomfortable about the idea of some stranger helping me raise his child, assuming I started a life with someone else at some point. The question, in reality, is often much more complicated than just whether it can be done.

m2e_co's avatar

It is possible but what would that baby think when he grows to find out his father was dead before he got conceived ??

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Jack79's avatar

so amanderveen, I assume you did not use it after all? How long ago was this? Did you eventually move on? do you have regrets either way?

amanderveen's avatar

No, I did not use it after all. He decided to sign it over to me to leave the decision in my hands, but, as fate would have it, he passed away the day before he was scheduled to have the direction letter notarized. I never had to make the decision. This was not quite three years ago, and yes, I have moved on. I was torn in the first place, which is part of the reason why he was going to leave my options open by signing the rights over to me. As for regrets, my philosophy is to not regret anything I do or to do anything I know I’ll regret, so… no, no regrets. I suspect I would have made the same decision in the end, but who knows?

Blondesjon's avatar

You can but you need to be really careful not to swallow the sample.

i’m so ashamed of me

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