A wealthy couple harvested sperm from their dead son and used it to create a “designer grandson” in likely the first case of its kind in Britain.
The couple were left devastated after their only child was killed in a motorcycle crash and seemingly ended their chance of becoming grandparents.
But the pair, who are in their 50s, were reportedly desperate for an heir decided to harvest the 26-year-old’s sperm, which was frozen and exported to the US, bypassing strict laws in the UK.
Their grandson is now three and is believed to be living with them in Britain in a case that highlights ethical and legal concerns.
The grandparents chose to use gender selection techniques to create a grandchild, who was born using donor eggs and a surrogate, the Mail on Sunday reported.
It is thought that the whole process cost up to £100,000.
Top fertility specialist Dr. David Smotrich helped the grandparents at his La Jolla IVF clinic in San Diego, California, using techniques that are illegal in Britain.
He said the couple’s unmarried son had not given formal consent to have his sperm harvested and used to create a child in the event of his death.
The 55-year-old said he was “unaware” how the couple bypassed UK law.
He said: “The English couple lost their son under the most tragic of circumstances. They desperately wanted an heir and a grandchild. It was a privilege to be able to help them.”
Dr. Smotrich said the couple were very specific about the egg donor and surrogate, and they wanted someone who matched the kind of woman they believed their son would have married and had children with.
His office manager, Diane Batzofin, said she took the initial call from the dead man’s mother, adding: “This was a marriage of science and soul. The mother told me it’s what her son would have wanted.”
The couple ended up with an egg donor and surrogate from the US. They selected one of four embryos and were present when their grandson was born in 2015. Read more