Widow wins High Court legal battle to store her husband's sperm

Beth Warren argued that she should be able to preserve her husband's sperm to conceive with past a storage limit imposed by the UK's fertility regulator

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The Independent Online

A widow has won a High Court battle to continue to preserve her late husband’s sperm after a time limit was placed on it by the UK’s fertility regulator.

Beth Warren, a 28-year-old physiotherapist from from Birmingham, argued that the limit meant she had just over a year to conceive a child using the sperm sample her husband Warren Brewer had left before he died of cancer two years ago.

Judge Mrs Justice Hogg ruled in Mrs Warren's favour after hearing evidence in January.

Mrs Warren told the court at the time: "I am sure there is absolutely no way he [Mr Brewer] wanted to limit my choices in this situation."

Lawyer Jane Collier who represented the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) told the judge that its officials sympathised with Mrs Warren, who uses her husband's first name as her surname.

However, Ms Collier argued that Mr Brewer, a ski instructor aged 32 when he died, had not given written consent to his sperm being stored beyond April 2015.

A lawyer representing Mrs Warren told the judge that the authority was taking an "excessively linguistic and technical approach" and suggested that every option had not been made clear to Mr Brewer.

Jenni Richards QC said Mr Brewer wanted to ensure that his sperm could be used by his wife after his death and had made his intentions clear.

Mrs Warren said: "I am elated. Every good word in the dictionary. I hadn't dared to let myself believe it would happen."

"Warren was my life. I know we didn't get that life we wanted. So we made this plan. Now I feel I can just move on in my life. With what I want to do. With this chance Warren left me," she added.

She added said she would advise anyone in the situation she and her husband had been in to contact their clinic and make sure paperwork was properly completed.

"I really want to make sure it doesn't happen again," she said.

Additional reporting by PA