The Widow and the Sperm: The Law of Post-Mortem Insemination
Estate of Kievernagel, 166 Cal. App. 4th 1024, 83 Cal.Rptr.3d 311 (2008)
In this case we must decide whether a widow has the right to use her late husband's frozen sperm to attempt to conceive a child where her late husband signed an agreement with the company storing the frozen sperm providing that the frozen sperm was to be discarded upon his death. We conclude that in determining the disposition of gametic material, to which no other party has contributed and thus another party's right to procreational autonomy is not implicated, the intent of the donor must control. In this judgment roll appeal, the widow cannot challenge the probate court's finding that the decedent's intent was to have his frozen sperm discarded upon his death. Accordingly, we affirm the decision denying distribution of the frozen sperm to the widow.
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