A WEALTHY British couple created a “designer grandson” after harvesting the sperm from their dead son who was killed in a motorbike crash.
The couple, who are in their 50s, bypassed strict UK laws and opted for a gender selection procedure in the US so they could produce a new male heir.
A wealthy British couple reportedly created a ‘designer grandson’ using their dead son’s sperm[/caption]
The boy is now three and believed to be living with his grandparents in what is thought to be the first case of its kind in this country, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Dr David Smotrich says he helped the couple at his La Jolla IVF clinic in California after their unmarried 26-year-old son died in a motorcycle crash four years ago.
He said the man’s body lay undiscovered for two days but once recovered his sperm – which can survive for up to 72 hours after death – was retrieved and immediately frozen.
It was flown to his clinic almost a year later using a UK-based specialist medical courier and used donor eggs and a surrogate from the US.
He told the newspaper:”Producing a child using posthumous sperm is exceedingly rare. I have done it only five times. This couple were desperate to find someone who would be able to create an heir. They wanted a boy.
“What we did is not available in the UK, where gender-selection isn’t legal.”
The procedure – including payments to the egg donor, surrogate and hospital fees – is thought to have cost between £60,000 and £100,000.
Dr Smotrich described the couple as extremely rich “and from a notable family”.
The world-leading fertility specialist said he understood their son had not given formal consent to the extraction and use of his sperm in the event of his death.
Legal experts claim this means the couple may have committed a criminal act and could face prosecution.
Professor Allan Pacey, a former chairman of the British Fertility Society, told the Mail: “If the son in this case wasn’t being treated by a clinic, and had not signed the necessary consent forms for the posthumous retrieval, storage and use of his sperm, then a criminal act has probably taken place.”
Dr Smotrich said he was “unaware” of how the couple bypassed British law.
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He added that the grandparents insisted the egg donor and surrogate had to match the kind of woman they believed their son would have married.
The process created four embryos, one was selected and the couple were present for the birth in the US in 2015.
Dr Smotrich said they returned to the UK with their grandchild after official paperwork naming them as his legal parents was completed.
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