Widow wins legal battle to keep dead husband’s sperm

MPMC Beth Warren
MPMC Beth Warren

A woman has won a legal battle to stop her dead husband’s frozen sperm being destroyed.

The High Court decision, announced earlier this afternoon, backed Beth Warren’s case to keep her late husband’s sperm which was frozen before he started cancer treatment. He later signed paperwork to say she could use the sperm in the event of his death.

Beth Warren, 28, of Newport Pagnell, had launched a legal case to prevent her husband’s sperm being destroyed in 2015. Her case was supported by both her parents-in-law.

The law allows sperm and eggs to be stored for up to 55 years, if consent is renewed every decade.

But when 32-year-old ski instructor Warren Brewer, died of a brain tumour in February 2012, consent could no longer be renewed. The regulators, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said the sperm could not be stored beyond April 2015.

Mrs Warren argued this defied common sense with the court ruling in her favour.

The judgement stated: “Mr Brewer clearly by word and document indicated the wish to give his widow the opportunity to have his child after his death”.

After the verdict Mrs Warren said: “I am elated. Every good word in the dictionary. I hadn’t dared to let myself believe it would happen.

“Mrs Justice Hogg was really understanding after hearing me speak, and treated us like human beings.

“We did everything we could at the time, but if we were told at the time that there was more paper work to do, which still doesn’t exist, then we would have. We would have fought for that when he was still alive.

“I didn’t let myself believe I could win, but I hope to move forward and find happiness.”