Mother in legal fight to save dead transgender daughters sperm – The Guardian

Posted: August 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm

The mother of a transgender teenager is preparing to take legal action to prevent fertility doctors from destroying her dead daughters frozen sperm.

Louise Anderson, from Stirling, says she wants to honour her daughter Ellies wish to produce a grandchild, using her sperm, an egg donor and a surrogate carrier.

The 16-year-old died in Forth Valley hospital in July after falling ill. Her cause of death was described as unascertained.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Anderson said: As a teenager she delayed hormone blockers to save her sperm to enable her to have her own biological children. She had made me promise that if anything were to happen to her, her children would be brought into the world.

I am going to do everything I can to honour her wishes not just for her but for anyone else who is caught in this position. It kind of sparked a little fire in my belly and I want to make her wishes come true.

Ellies sperm was frozen at Glasgow Royal Infirmary Fertility Clinic when she was 14 in the hope that one day she would have her own biological children. But the clinic has told her mother the sample cannot be retained.

Under UK human fertilisation rules, if Ellie was in a relationship at the time of her death, her partner would have had the right to request for her sperm to be retained. Her mother does not have that legal right.

Virgil Crawford, the solicitor acting for Anderson, said it was an unusual, interesting, important and complex legal issue.

What were trying to achieve would be to get an order from the court that Ellies mum would be entitled to make use of her sperm for the purpose that Ellie intended that being to create a genetic child of hers and a grandchild for Ms Anderson.

David Obree, a fellow in medical ethics at the University of Edinburgh, told the BBC that Ellies transgender status was irrelevant.

He said: The key question is, what did she intend the sperm to be used for? The question the court will need to look at is: did she specifically consent or request that her sperm be used by a third party?

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which runs the fertility clinic, said: We are sorry to hear about this young womans death and our sympathies are with her family.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary Assisted Conception Services is licensed and regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. The storage of gametes (sperm) is managed in line with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and complies with the consents provided by the donors.

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Mother in legal fight to save dead transgender daughters sperm - The Guardian

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