Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Posthumous Sperm Donation, Rights of Executors and Administrators, Sperm Donation, Succession
Judges:  R A Hulme J


Background: What right does a woman have to take sperm from the body of her deceased partner so that she may conceive a child? Ms Jocelyn Edwards seeks a declaration that she, as the administrator of the estate of her late husband, Mr Mark Edwards, is entitled to possession of sperm that was extracted from his body shortly after his death. Although there is no direct evidence, the clear and only inference is that she desires to have a child with the aid of assisted reproductive treatment. 
 
  [Legal Issue]Ms Edwards argued that, as the administrator of her late husband's estate in relation to the disposal of his body, she has a right to possession of any part thereof and no other party has a superior right. The Attorney General however argued that there is a right of property, but the right of an executor or administrator to possession of the deceased's body is limited to fulfilling the duty to ensure prompt and decent burial or cremation.   [Court Orders]The Court made the order that Ms Jocelyn Edwards is entitled to possession of the sperm recovered from the body of her late husband, Mr Mark Edwards.      


 ] Download Decision