Couple to make grandchild using dead son's semen

In a rare legal battle, a couple in their late 50’s won the legal right to have possession of their deceased son’s semen that was preserved in a private hospital to enable the family have a surrogate child.

The Ernakulam Permanent Lok Adalat on Monday directed the hospital in the city to hand over the semen to the elderly couple with immediate effect.

The court issued the directive after Ravi Kumar, 59, and Karthyayani, 58 of Angamaly moved the adalat seeking a directive to the hospital to hand over the semen that had been preserved for the last 18 months.

The petitioner’s son Ratheesh died at the age of 28 on January last year. Ratheesh was undergoing treatment for a tumor in his testicles and the doctors suggested saving his semen for a case study.
The semen was collected in August 2010 but the hospital authorities decided not to hand it over to the parents, citing technical reasons.

The couple found a donor and had decided to go for assisted reproductive technology (ART) to have a grandchild. The semen is now preserved at the Centre for Infertility Management and Assisted Reproduction (CIMAR), Kochi, which had expressed its willingness to hand over the semen, if the court so directed.

The court asked the couple to jointly issue an acknowledgement letter stating that the release of the semen was solely at their risk and that they would abide by the various surrogacy-related rules.

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