An anonymous woman’s efforts to conceive her own grandchild has been struck down by the British high court, in a case that may be the first ever of its kind.
The U.K. has a fertility regulator called the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and they refused to allow her and her husband to have their daughter’s frozen embryos shipped to the U.S. for fertility treatment, the BBC reported.
There, the woman, 59, had planned to be implanted with the eggs and bring her own grandchild to term.
She argued that her daughter had wanted her to carry and birth her baby after her death. However, because she never specified these wishes on paper, the high court agreed with the HFEA’s prohibition.
“This is a very sad case, and the ruling must be heart breaking for the couple,” a spokeswoman told the Independent.
The couple’s child was diagnosed with bowel cancer at only 23-years-old, and died in 2011 at 28, the Associated Press added. When she knew she wasn’t going to beat the cancer, she asked her mom to “carry my babies,” adding “I didn’t go through IVF to save my eggs for nothing. I want you and Dad to bring them up, they will be safe,” the woman claimed.
“She was clear that she wanted her genes to be carried forward after her death. She had suffered terribly, and this was the one constant in her remaining years from which she never wavered.”
The embryos, in her mind, were “living entities in limbo waiting to be born.”
Despite feeling sympathy for the parents, the judge ruled that not enough evidence of this dying wish existed to merit their request.
The attorney representing them called the decision a “disproportionate interference” with their human rights; they can appeal, however the high court judge said they likely won’t win.
They’ve also been ordered to pay $15,600 toward the regulator’s legal costs.
What do you think? Should a mom be allowed have her grandchild under such circumstances?
[Photo Courtesy Christopher Furlong / Getty Images]