Never Try to Stare Down a Grieving Widow: Posthumous Use of Gametes and Embryos in Australia

Never Try to Stare Down a Grieving Widow: Posthumous Use of Gametes and Embryos in Australia

Posthumous use falls into one of two categories –

  • Retrieval
  • Use

A dear American colleague2 has suggested that surrogacy lawyers have one of three roles:

  • An architect- who plans the whole journey.
  • A pilot- when the intended parents know where they want to go- and want to get there fast.
  • A cleaner- cleaning up other people’s messes.

These comments are apt about the role of a lawyer in posthumous cases, too. If it appears that death is on the horizon, engaging a lawyer early can make the posthumous use process for the grieving widow3 quicker, simpler and cheaper.

Conversely, trying to retrieve sperm posthumously can lead to difficulties, which a lawyer is sought to clean up in the most trying of circumstances.

I am going to be discussing posthumous use in Australia – a country of 27 million, but with eight systems of law on this point.

Read the Paper here.

2Richard Vaughn.

3I say widow. While posthumous retrieval from women occurs, it is rare. Posthumous retrieval from men is much more common.

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