Dead Man's Sperm is not Legal Father

The Tokyo High Court refused Wednesday to recognize a girl conceived using sperm taken from a man before he died of illness as his, upholding a lower court decision.

The way the girl came to be born "significantly deviates" from natural reproduction and there is no common social recognition accepting reproduction assisted by in vitro medical technology, Presiding Judge Kimio Miyazaki said in handing down the ruling.

In 2001, according to the ruling, the man had his sperm taken on five occasions and it was kept frozen at a medical institution. By the time he died the next year, three in vitro fertilization attempts had failed. The woman became pregnant on the fourth attempt, after his death.

"Reproduction after the donor's death leads to creating a fatherless child, and such an act is unacceptable in view of the child's welfare," he added.

The lower court judge had said the donor's consent for his sperm to be used for in-vitro fertilization must be confirmed each time an attempt is made and it cannot be construed that the man's consent was valid after his death.

LEAD: Court nixes appeal to recognize girl conceived with dead man's sperm

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