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Ayesha Vardag on whether sperm could be considered a marital asset

29th September 2016 - John Oxley
Ayesha Vardag on whether sperm could be considered a marital asset

Vardags president Ayesha Vardag wrote for The Guardian about a controversial cases in which a woman sought to prevent her husband from donating sperm without her consent. Ayesha explained that The unnamed woman feels that to have a child from a sperm donation arrive at their door would be like having introducing a child from an adulterous relationship into her family. Equally, she feels she would not be able to turn that child away or avoid emotionally engaging with him or her.

Ayesha also tackled some of the ambiguities surrounding the legal effect of sperm donation, explaining that A man who selflessly donates sperm to help friends or acquaintances conceive in more informal circumstances or without the womans partner being married/civilly partnered to them will find that he, as the biological father, is also the legal father. That means he could be liable for child maintenance or even provision of a home for the mother and child.

Ayesha ultimately concluded that the womans claim should fail, saying However, taking control of another persons right to reproduce, or indeed to donate blood, organs or make other such gifts of themselves simply because you are married to them is a bridge too far. Anyway, men bring abut the creation of children through extra-marital relations all the time. What are wives to do to control that?"

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