Mother Set to Launch Legal Battle over Dead Transgender ‘Daughter’s Sperm’

A person holds a transgender pride flag as people gather on Christopher Street outside the
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The mother of a deceased male-to-female transgender teenager is set to sue a Glasgow fertility clinic in order to gain possession of her ‘daughter’s sperm’.

Louise Anderson, from Stirling in Scotland, said that she wants to prevent the clinic from destroying the sperm in order to produce a grandchild, which she claims would be in alignment with her child’s wishes.

“As a teenager, she delayed hormone blockers to save her sperm to enable her to have her own biological children. She had made me promise that if anything were to happen to her, her children would be brought into the world,” Anderson told BBC Scotland.

“I am going to do everything I can to honour her wishes – not just for her but for anyone else who is caught in this position. It kind of sparked a little fire in my belly and I want to make her wishes come true,” the mother said.

Ellie — the deceased transgender teen– froze the sperm at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Fertility Clinic at the age of 14. After that, the teen began taking female hormones. Ellie later died in Forth Valley Hospital after falling ill in.

The cause of death was characterised as “unascertained”.

Under the current legislation in the UK on human fertilisation, the mother of a sperm donor does not have the right to request the samples, a right which is only afforded to romantic partners of a deceased donor.

A fellow in medical ethics at the University of Edinburgh, David Obree said that the gender identity of Ellie is legally “irrelevant” in the case.

“The key question is, what did she intend the sperm to be used for? The question the court will need to look at is: did she specifically consent or request that her sperm be used by a third party?” he said.

The solicitor for the mother of the late trans teen, Virgil Crawford, said that the case presents an “unusual, interesting, important and complex legal issue”.

“What we’re trying to achieve would be to get an order from the court that Ellie’s mum would be entitled to make use of her sperm for the purpose that Ellie intended – that being to create a genetic child of hers and a grandchild for Ms Anderson,” Crawford said.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman said: “We are sorry to hear about this young woman’s death and our sympathies are with her family.”

“Glasgow Royal Infirmary Assisted Conception Services is licensed and regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. The storage of gametes (sperm) is managed in line with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and complies with the consents provided by the donors,” the spokeswoman added.

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