BC Court determines frozen sperm is “common property” and must be divided between partners

A BC court ruled that a separated lesbian couple should divide between the two partners, the remaining 16 straws of donated sperm they had stored at a local fertility clinic. The couple had purchased the sperm during their relationship and used it for each of the women to have a baby, one in 2000, and the second in 2002. The remaining straws were being stored at the fertility clinic where the couple had undergone treatment. However, after the couple split up one of the partners wanted to have a baby with her new partner, using the remaining frozen sperm, so that the child would be biologically related to the child from the first relationship that she and her new partner were raising. After considering this request, her previous partner declined to release the sperm and wanted it destroyed. This led the first partner to bring the issue to court where a judge determined that the remaining sperm straws should be divided between the two women. The judge ruled that the sperm was “common property” and so should be divided equally, like furniture and other assets acquired during the partnership.

This article highlights the need for legal agreements and consents when using any form of third party reproduction (e.g., donor sperm, eggs, embryos) – agreements that should include the disposition of the remaining sperm, eggs, or embryos in the event that the parties involved end their relationship.

Read our section on Third Party Reproduction here

Read more about the story here:

Court orders former lesbian couple to divide leftover sperm [Vancouver Sun]

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