Widow wins final battle for frozen sperm

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Diane Blood (right), the widow who battled for two years to have her dead husband's baby, was yesterday granted final permission to be artificially inseminated in a Belgian clinic.

She celebrated with champagne, and immediately rang her parents-in-law, after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority unanimously decided to allow her to export her late husband's sperm for treatment.

Ruth Deech, chairman of the authority, which is thought to have spent pounds 100,000 fighting the case, said it had finally agreed to the export after a High Court ruling in Mrs Blood's favour. It had written to her solicitors and to the clinic where the sperm is stored.

"This is the only way to resolve the tragic situation for Mrs Blood, one which will not arise again." said Mrs Deech. "We've been concerned throughout to uphold the integrity of the principle of consent and we are pleased that the Court of Appeal has confirmed this."

Asked if she felt the HFEA should apologise to the widow, Mrs Deech said: "I don't think an apology is called for because all the way our view of UK law has been upheld by the courts."

She added that if the Court of Appeal had not been sufficiently explicit, the body would have refused her wishes once again.

"This is obviously wonderful, wonderful news. I am very, very relieved." said Mrs Blood. "I am slightly bewildered still and I don't yet fully believe it."

"It has just been a long time and so many emotions, I don't think I can sum it up. There have been so many different emotions."

She said she had not yet made any firm arrangements for her treatment, adding: "I have felt unable to make any arrangements so far. I am glad now to be able to speak to people sensibly and make arrangements."

Glenda Cooper and

David Garfinkel