Probe into fam­ily who ‘cre­ated heir from their dead son’s sperm’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Femail - By Jo Mac­far­lane

CLAIMS that a wealthy Bri­tish cou­ple cre­ated a ‘de­signer grand­son’ us­ing sperm taken from their dead son are to be in­ves­ti­gated by the fer­til­ity reg­u­la­tor.

The Mail on Sun­day re­vealed last week that the griev­ing par­ents are said to have re­trieved the sperm af­ter their 26-year-old son – their only child – died in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent in 2014. It was frozen and flown to the US, where the cou­ple, de­scribed as a ‘no­table fam­ily’, used it to cre­ate a male heir.

But the claims, made by fer­til­ity specialist Dr David Smotrich, who helped the cou­ple at his world-renowned clinic in La Jolla, California, are now to be in­ves­ti­gated by the Hu­man Fer­til­i­sa­tion and Em­bry­ol­ogy Au­thor­ity in the UK.

Of­fi­cials are con­cerned that the sperm was re­trieved, stored and used with­out the dead man’s con­sent – a breach of UK law – both by the doc­tor who re­trieved the sam­ple and by the clinic which agreed to store it and send it over­seas.

In a let­ter to The Mail on Sun­day, Nick Jones, the HFEA’s di­rec­tor of com­pli­ance and in­for­ma­tion, said there would be a ‘ro­bust in­ves­ti­ga­tion’ of the claims, and warned those in­volved faced pros­e­cu­tion.

He de­scribed the case as con­tain­ing ‘very se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions, po­ten­tially car­ry­ing crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity’.

The re­mark­able case is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK. The boy, now three, was born in the US us­ing donor eggs and a sur­ro­gate in a £100,000 pro­ce­dure.

Dr Smotrich said last week he was ‘un­aware’ how the cou­ple were able to by­pass UK law.

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