Creepy? Touching? You decide. A woman in Israel has given birth to a baby—via the sperm of a man who died six years ago after a failed battle with cancer.
The man, who has not been identified, had preserved his sperm prior to undergoing chemotherapy, which made him sterile. While medical science failed to save his life, it was able to preserve his sperm donation. His parents, seeking to keep his spirit going on in some way, began searching for a woman who would be willing to make them grandparents.
Eventually, they located a thirtysomething identified only as A, who dreamed of motherhood but didn't like the anonymity of a sperm bank. Together, they approached the courts and got permission to formalize their arrangement. About 10 months ago, A revealed to the parents that she was pregnant. "Their excitement was tremendous. These are people whose world collapsed six years ago, and now they get this ray of light into their lives. No psychologist could restore their lives in the way this baby did. This girl would not bear the onus of the family's past; she paves the path into the future," said one of those involved in the arrangement.
A is said to keep photos of her child's dead father in the living room, and the grandparents are a regular presence. A says this situation is "as close as it gets to the real thing."
More than 100 terminal patients have signed 'biological wills' regarding their sperm or eggs. Two years ago, a child was born via a surrogate mother to a widower, and currently two other women are carrying babies from the sperm of deceased men.