Baby born from sperm collected from his father after his death

(Photo: Reuters)

An Australian woman has given birth to a healthy baby conceived from the sperm collected from her husband, 48 hours after he perished in a motorcycle accident.

In an extraordinary story of love and endurance, the woman, whose name could not be revealed due to legal concerns, has finally fulfilled her dream to build a family even after her husband's abrupt passing.

Based on a report from The Daily Mail, aside from dealing with her grief from losing her husband, the woman had to deal with countless legal hurdles before she was allowed to carry her dead husband's baby.

Because of the uniqueness of her request to extract sperm from her deceased spouse, the woman had to take her case to the Adelaide Supreme Court.

Among the issues raised was the viability of the sperm and the DNA of the donor. The court also deliberated on possible conflicts with the law in South Australia which dictates that sperm can only be used from a dead donor if it was collected while he was still alive.

After two days, the court decided in favour of the woman's request because she was able to prove that she and her husband had plans to start a family before his fatal accident. However, the procedure had to be done in Canberra because it was illegal for sperm to be extracted from a dead donor without written consent in Adelaide.

Professor Kelton Tremellen, who collected the sperm, originally had ethical concerns about performing the task, but he was moved by the woman's story after learning that she had already been turned down by many doctors. 

"One reason was that I thought it was going to be a waste of time, and the other was I didn't know if it was the right thing to do. In the end I decided I would do it because I felt it wasn't a battle she should have to fight at that point when she had just lost her husband," he said.

Fertility expert and Australian National University Associate Professor Steve Robson described the case as the "most extraordinary case" he has been involved in and praised the woman for her perseverance and courage. He will report the findings of the procedure to Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists world conference, reported The Mirror.