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Split lesbian couple ordered to share leftover sperm

A court in British Columbia, Canada, ruled that a former lesbian couple must divide sperm which they had left in a fertility clinic
A sperm fertilizing an egg

A separated lesbian couple in Canada have been ordered by a court to share leftover sperm.

Despite dividing their assets when they split in 2006, the British Columbia couple forgot about the 13 vials, known as straws, of semen which they had frozen in a sperm bank.

However, in 2009 one of the women, identified in court by the initials JCM, wanted to use the sperm to have a baby with her new partner, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Her former girlfriend, referred to as ANA, refused to hand over her share, saying she wanted it destroyed.

A court battle ensued, with BC Supreme Court Justice Loryl Russell ruling that the warring couple should divide the remainding sperm.

'I find that the remaining 13 gametes should be divided between the parties,' Russell decided.

'Assuming it is not possible, or that it is impractical, to divide one sperm straw in half, I award seven sperm straws to the claimant, JCM, and six sperm straws to the respondent, ANA.'

The sperm came from the same male donor and was used for each of the women to have a baby, the first in 2000 and the second in 2002.

Russell wrote that it was the first time she had had to rule on whether sperm was property.

She wrote that there was 'no logical reason to treat the gametes as other than property.'

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