National

Ruling recognizing dead man as boy's father challenged

Kyodo

Prosecutors on Thursday appealed to the Supreme Court a ruling last week that recognized a woman’s dead husband as the father of her 3-year-old son, who was born via in vitro fertilization.

The July 23 ruling by the Takamatsu High Court overturned a lower court decision. It represented the first time that a husband’s prior consent had been accepted as the condition for recognizing a father-child relationship.

The woman gave birth to the boy in May 2001. She was impregnated with sperm her husband had frozen in 1998 before undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. He died in September the following year.

Being recognized as his father’s son entitles the child to welfare benefits.

The Civil Code allows legal recognition of children conceived through in vitro fertilization while the father is alive. No law addresses the handling of frozen sperm after a donor’s death.

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