A 60-year-old woman who wants to use her late daughter’s eggs to give birth to her own grandchild has appealed to three Court of Appeal judges to rule in her favour.
The woman is appealing against the UK regulator’s refusal to allow her take her only child’s eggs to a US clinic to be used with a donor sperm.
The woman, whose daughter died of cancer in 2011, lost an action at the High Court last year, but was subsequently granted permission to challenge the decision. She now begs the court to allow her to carry out the dying wishes of her “much-loved and only child”.
In the latest legal proceedings, lawyers acting for the mother told the judges she wanted to fulfill her daughter’s wishes to carry a child created from her frozen eggs and “raise that child”.
Jenni Richards QC added the eggs would “simply be allowed to perish” if the court did not rule in her favour.
With her 59-year-old husband, the woman is challenging the decision of Mr Justice Ouseley last June to dismiss their case. Lawyers acting for the parents told Mr Justice Ouseley the daughter would have been “devastated” if she had known her eggs could not be used.
During the High Court proceedings, the judge was told that the daughter, who can only be referred to as “A” for legal reasons, was desperate to have children and asked her mother to “carry my babies”.
Her parents, who are referred to as “Mr and Mrs M”, launched legal action against an independent regulator’s refusal to allow them to take their daughter’s eggs to a US fertility treatment clinic to be used with donor sperm.
The UK fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said, in 2014, the daughter’s eggs could not be released from storage in London because she had not given her full written consent before she had died from bowel cancer at the age of 28.
Although she consented for her eggs to be stored for use after her death, she did not fill in a separate form outlining how she wished them to be used.
The woman’s lawyers have however sought permission to appeal in February 2016, arguing that there was “clear evidence” of what the daughter wanted to happen to her eggs when she died.
Lord Justice Treacy said the case papers had left him doubtful as to whether there would be “sufficiently strong” reasons to allow the challenge to continue further.
But after hearing submissions in court, he concluded there was “an arguable case with a real prospect of success”.