'I believed I was pregnant. My husband died in the hope that I was and the belief that I might be'

Diane Blood, widow of Stephen, plans to take her legal battle to have his baby to the Court of Appeal. Friends are appealing for funds to help her. This is what she told the High Court
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The Independent Online
We had previously been courting for nine years ... We were very close to both sets of parents.

I work in advertising and public relations. I set up my own company in January 1993 under a government enterprise scheme. My main fee business was from a leading manufacturer of pre-school baby and nursery products. Stephen would help me scour publications for relevant articles.

Stephen and I had the good fortune to share similar religious beliefs and ethical values.

To have children was our plan right from the time when we decided (in 1988) to get engaged, pool our finances and buy a house ... We believed that the responsible thing to do was to have a family only when we were confident that the time was right.

Finally, I was confident at the end of 1994 that my financial affairs were stable enough to enable us to start a family.

We both thought artificial insemination was a wonderful way of helping unfortunate people have children. It often came up in conversation ... We also discussed organ donation.

We saw no objection to the posthumous use of a husband's sperm by his wife, provided that the interests of the child and of any other children of the family were properly protected. The arguments in favour of such use struck us as particularly compelling in the case of a married couple.

Stephen wished to donate his organs for the benefit of others, upon his death. I have no doubt that he would have wished sperm to be taken from him and used by me in the tragic circumstances of his untimely death.

I think probably in mid to late 1994 we talked specifically about a newspaper or magazine story about a widow who wanted to use sperm from her late husband. I remember that we talked about it sitting around the dining room table.

We thought it was lovely that, if she wanted a child, she still had the opportunity to have the child of perhaps the only man she would ever love.

We began actively trying to conceive. We installed new fitted furniture in the spare bedroom ... We wondered how we would react when the child grew up and stuck horrible stickers on the nice units.

We had been having regular sex without contraception. I actually believed that I was pregnant. Stephen died in the hope that I was and the belief that I might well be.

The Stephen Blood Baby Appeal can be contacted on 0121-643 4636