French court green lights export of sperm to circumvent dead donor rule

Xavier Symons
June 4, 2016
Reproduced with Permission

A French Court has ruled in favour of allowing a dead man's sperm to be sent to a foreign IVF clinic, despite France's prohibition on insemination using sperm from deceased males.

The country's Council of State (Conseil d'Etat) ruled in favour of a Spanish national, Nicola Turri, who had requested that the sperm of her deceased Italian husband, Mariana Gomez-Turri, be exported to Spain, where she now lives.

The couple was living in France when Turri was diagnosed with cancer of the lymphatic system. He froze his sperm before starting chemotherapy, a routine procedure due to the fact that treatment can cause infertility. Turri died in 2015.

The court acknowledged that Spanish law permits post-mortem insemination, and decided that the denial of the application would constitute "an excessive interference" with the widow's "rights to respect for private and family life".

The woman's lawyers called the decision "extraordinary and unprecedented". The court believed that the decision was consistent with a commitment to maintain the integrity of French law. "Neither Ms Gomez nor the child will have links with France," said the court's spokesperson , "because the husband wasn't French."