Dead father forced off birth certificate

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN who became pregnant after being artificially inseminated with her dead husband's sperm is fighting to have him officially recognised as the father of their baby.

Marian Jordan, 27, of Stourbridge, West Midlands, has been refused permission to register her late husband, David, as the father on the birth certificate because Mr Jordan died before the baby, named Daniel, was conceived.

Mrs Jordan, who gave birth three weeks ago, said: "I am over the moon with Daniel, and David would have been delighted." She said that after Daniel was born she tried to register the birth, naming David as the father. "I phoned the [register] office to ask what documents I needed. I do have a letter from the hospital stating David is the father. But I was told that under no circumstances can I have his name on the birth certificate. I have to leave it blank, which means my son will be classed as illegitimate."

When Mr Jordan was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, aged 32, the couple completed the necessary Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act forms, giving written consent that if he died, Mrs Jordan would be allowed to conceive their child.

After his death, Mrs Jordan was given approval by an ethics committee to have a child.

Her case has been taken up by the Stourbridge MP, Debra Shipley, who said: "Technology has outstripped the law in this case. Mrs Jordan has gone through all the proper channels, everything about baby Daniel's conception was legal, there was never a question of it being done without all the parties' consent. But she still cannot register Mr Jordan as the father of the baby. It is quite ridiculous. The 1953 Act of Parliament concerning the registration of births is out of date and needs reviewing."

Mrs Jordan joins at least two other women in Britain fighting to have their late husbands' names registered on the birth certificate of their children. One of them, Diane Blood, whose husband was in a coma when the sperm was collected, took her case to the Court of Appeal before insemination was permitted.

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