Ah, common sense prevails somewhere in New York.
Mark Speranza banked sperm at a lab in 1997 before undergoing treatment for cancer; he wanted to be able to father a child if he survived the battle. Unfortunately, Speranza died in January 1998. He’d ordered the semen samples to be destroyed if he died, but his parents had filed to be allowed use of the sperm.
They wanted to impregnate a surrogate mother with their son’s semen so they could become grandparents. It sounds like a storyline ripped from a recent episode of Private Practice (although, on the show, the sick kid was still alive and wanted to have a baby . . . her parents were eager for a grandchild and happy to go along with their teenage daughter getting pregnant before she died).
What’s bizarre to me is the fact that this case wasn’t thrown out simply because Speranza had directed his sperm to be destroyed upon his death. Apparently his request wasn’t enough. Instead, a state law that requires a father provide blood tests before his stored semen is used to impregnate a surrogate played a role. Because Speranza was dead, a Manhattan judge said the family would have been violating state law.
Shouldn’t a man’s request of what be done with his semen be enough? After all, we reserve the right to sign up as organ donors or not – our parents can’t come waltzing in after our death to announce that old cousin Charlie needs a kidney and there’s a fresh set just lying there on the table. A guy couldn’t be forced to have sex to make a baby, he shouldn’t be forced after his death to make a baby he didn’t ask for.
And what would this do to a child – to know his grandparents/custodial parents disregarded his dad’s wishes to make him? It sounds like a set of people who are very sad to have lost their son – but need to realize they can’t replace him with his child.