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Ayesha Vardag on whether sperm could be considered a marital asset

By John Oxley -

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 woman's 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 woman’s claim should fail, saying “However, taking control of another person's 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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John Oxley

John first joined Vardags in 2013 and spent a year with the firm as a paralegal to Ayesha Vardag before undertaking pupillage with leading matrimonial set QE...