Posthumous Sperm Retrieval

When a loved one suffers an unexpected accident resulting in death, the surviving family members sometimes wish to preserve the gametes (egg/sperm) of their loved one to allow for potential reproduction in the future. It is typically a spouse or intimate partner who wishes to preserve the gametes of their loved one, but it can also be a parent or other family member.

Posthumous sperm retrieval cases require immediate attention because an order for the retrieval typically needs to be obtained within 24-48 hours to maximize the chances of a successful retrieval of viable sperm. After the retrieval is completed, a hearing is typically held to determine the ultimate disposition of the retrieved sperm.

Thankfully, posthumous sperm retrieval cases are fairly rare, but Copps DiPaola Silverman has previously handled several such cases, so we can quickly jump into a new case without needing to get up to speed on the law or procedures necessary to accomplish this time-sensitive objective.

In 2019, Copps DiPaola Silverman successfully litigated the highly publicized posthumous sperm retrieval case, Matter of Zhu, on behalf of a decedent’s parents, resulting in the first published caselaw on this topic in New York State. Since then, we have successfully handled several posthumous sperm retrieval cases, both contested and uncontested.

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