A UK woman wants to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to give birth to a grandchild — and she’s asking the courts to allow her to do so.
via The Guardian:
Describing decisions by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the high court as arguably “too stringent”, the court of appeal allowed the woman to pursue her claim.
The unidentified woman, 60, and her husband, 59 – whose daughter died from cancer aged 28 – had challenged the regulator’s refusal to allow them to transport the frozen eggs of their “only and much-loved child” to a US fertility treatment clinic.
The application has focused on whether there was sufficient evidence that this was the late daughter’s wish.
In a two-page decision, Lord Justice Treacy said: “It seems to me that it is arguable that the HFEA and the [high court] judge took too stringent an approach to the question of special directions.
“There had been a failure to approach the available evidence correctly in relation to … a conversation between the [daughter] and the mother.”
An earlier hearing was told that there was no evidence that the daughter had considered matters like “the implications on her mother’s health, or the implications of her mother acting as a surrogate, namely that her mother would be the legal mother of her daughter’s child”.
Fearing cancer treatment might leave her unable to have children, the daughter initially had her eggs frozen in 2008 and discussed surrogacy with her mother because she hoped she would live to raise the child herself. She was not married and had no partner, but having a family was “incredibly important to her”, her mother said.
As her illness became more severe, the daughter signed a form saying she did not want her eggs to perish in the event of her death and said they should be stored for 10 years. However, there was a separate form, requesting instructions on what should happen to the eggs, which she never completed.
A full application by the woman of her request to use her daughter’s eggs, so that they can be fertilized by donor sperm and implanted, will now be heard by the court of appeal. The woman was not in court for the decision.
This is definitely an unusual circumstance. All we know is that if she’s able to go through with it, her daughter’s going to get one hell of a ‘coming of age’ story once she’s old enough to understand what’s going on.