‘Frozen-sperm widow’ may have to battle in court again

Beth Warren won High Court fight to keep her dead husband's sperm in storage but now fears there will be an appeal


Beth Warren, the 28-year-old widow who won a legal battle with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to stop her dead husband’s frozen sperm from being destroyed has spoken of her fears of facing court again if there’s an appeal.


“I started planning my future and thinking this is it, I don’t have to fight anymore,” Beth told ITV’s Daybreak this morning. “And, then 2 hours later, to be called back in and find out that the HFEA are looking into an appeal is… I’m struggling a little bit.”

Beth had been with her husband Warren Brewer, 32, for 8 years when he died of a brain tumour in February 2012. Warren had frozen his sperm before he started cancer treatment but, after he died, the HFEA said couldn’t keep his sperm frozen without his continuing consent. Beth took the case to the High Court, arguing that she needed more time to decide whether she wanted to use the sperm to conceive Warren’s children.

“When anything’s important you don’t stop,” Beth said. “You keep fighting and that’s what Warren and I did with cancer. You fight with everything you have and that’s what I need to keep doing.

“I was fighting for that time to have as much time as I needed, so I’m not forced into having children at a time when I’m not ready. If I do it, I need to be so much stronger as a person: to be able to have a child without a father, I need to be even stronger.

“But I know I can do that. After what I’ve done the last 2 years, I know I can provide a child, or 2 children, with that loving, protective upbringing.”

In her judgement, Mrs Justice Hogg said: “The evidence indicates that both Mr Brewer and his wife were in agreement. He wanted her to have the opportunity to have his child, if she wanted, after his death.”

She ruled that the sperm be kept until at least April 2023. The HFEA are said to be looking to appeal the decision.

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