Even Texas family law attorneys will probably see this case as being a bit bizarre. A mother of Bedford, Texas is hoping that a grandchild can be culled from her dead son's sperm.
The mother, Missy Evans, was heartbroken when she lost her 21-year-old son Nikolas Evans. According to ABC News, Nikolas died last last year of a subdural hematoma after he was assaulted in a fight outside of an Austin bar.
Now, Ms. Evans is looking for a surrogate mother for her future grandchild. She is then hoping to get a hold of her dead son's sperm through a post-mortem sperm retrieval process. The concept originated in the 1980s, but is still rarely carried out because of its controversial practices.
"It's an area that is steeped in ethical issues, emotional issues and financial issues," Dr. Daniel Williams, assistant professor of urology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, told ABC News. "These issues can become very challenging because there are no guidelines or laws or rules on how to handle the requests. Often they are handled on a case-by-case basis."
ABC News reports the Ms. Evans can face legal troubles if the pregnancy via post-mortem sperm retrieval is successful. She could face trouble getting full custody of the child; especially since the son didn't officially confirm that he was in favor of the process. Some critics of the process question what will happen if Ms. Evans is no longer able to take care of the child, and if she's still in a good position to be a parent.
For these reasons, Art Caplan, chair of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, states that new policies should be formed when it comes to post-mortem sperm retrieval. He told ABC News, "You need to have a review by courts, hospitals should have an ethics committee review mandatory and the law needs to catch up with technology."
- Surrogate Mothers (FindLaw)
- Do Medically Assisted Pregnancies Affect Parental Rights? (FindLaw)
- Texas Family Law Attorneys Directory (FindLaw)