Lifestyle & Belief

Divorcing lesbians must divide donor sperm, court rules


A medical worker opens a tank containing frozen human semen straws. A Canadian judge has ordered a divorcing lesbian couple to share 13 vials of donor sperm.



A Canadian judge ordered a separated lesbian couple to share 13 vials of donor sperm, allowing one to have another child with her new partner, CBC News reported.

The couple – identified as ANA and JCM in court records – split in 2007 after each bore a child from sperm of the same donor.

They divided their assets equally, but forgot about semen straws on ice with a Vancouver fertility clinic.

The dispute began in 2009 when JCM asked for access to the sperm so she could have another baby related to the first two children.

However, ANA said she would rather see the sperm destroyed, the Vancouver Sun reported.

“I find that the remaining 13 gametes should be divided between the parties. Assuming it is not possible, or that it is impractical, to divide one sperm straw in half, I award seven sperm straws to the claimant, JCM, and six sperm straws to the respondent, ANA,” BC Supreme Court Justice Loryl Russell wrote in the ruling, released Thursday.

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Russell also ruled that if the odd straw couldn’t be divided, JCM should pay her ex-wife $250, or how much they paid for the sperm originally.

CTV News said JCM took the case to court because she was out of options.

She approached the American company that sold her the sperm, but the man was no longer on file.

JCM also approached a family that had used the same donor, but they had no semen straws remaining.

The judge said that even though there is more emotional attachment in this case, the sperm should still be treated as property.

“The respondent’s moral objections to the commercialization of reproduction, or the commoditization of the body, seem to me to be too late,” Russell wrote in the ruling.

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