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Two Born From Dead Man’s Sperm

July 17, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ Diane Blood, who fought a legal battle for the right to have a child using her dead husband’s sperm, has given birth to a second baby by the same method, her family said Wednesday.

Blood’s father Mike McMahon said baby Joel Michael was born by Caesarean section at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield Wednesday morning, weighing 8 pounds. He said mother and baby were doing well.

``She is overjoyed. It’s what she wanted,″ McMahon said.

Blood, whose husband, Stephen, died of meningitis in 1995 at age 30, was at first barred from using the sperm for artificial insemination because it was taken when he was comatose and unable to give his permission.

Her two-year legal battle won wide public sympathy, even from people instrumental in drafting Britain’s 1991 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act, which requires written consent from the donor.

In 1997, a court ruled she could undergo the insemination and after fertility treatment at a Belgian clinic she gave birth to a son, Liam, now 3.

Announcing her second pregnancy in February, Blood, 36, said she would go to court to try to win a change in the law that insists the father be listed as unknown on the children’s birth certificates. The government has pledged to alter the law.

``It just gets entered as a line, as if the father was unknown, which is of course untrue and hurtful. But Diane feels it is better to have the child registered,″ McMahon said.

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