22-year-old Logan Morton was shocked when he was diagnosed with leukemia in April of last year. Even worse, he found out that he couldn’t leave his sperm to his significant other if he were to die.
While deep in the throes of chemo therapy, an experience that he described in a Stuff.co.nz article, Morton asked a nurse to help him fill out the paperwork to store his sperm through Fertility Associates. It was then that he noticed that only a woman could legally receive his sperm and not his boyfriend Jeremy Young.
New Zealand's Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act 2000 says that sperm is to be “available for use only by a specified person within a specified timeframe.”
The organization Fertility Associates took this to mean only a woman could use the sperm because “only a woman can use sperm to make a baby.”
After Morton complained that he wanted his partner to have rights to the sperm should he die, Dr. Mary Birdsall, who’s a chair of Fertiltiy Associates, said the organization is looking into changing its policy.
"We really feel terrible that Logan was offended because we see ourselves as being an organization that works really hard to meet all of our clients' needs, it's just that society is becoming more complicated in terms of reproductive options that are available and we just need to move with the times."
Meanwhile, Morton is pleased to see that his voice was heard.
"Obviously I'm thrilled that it's been brought to their attention and they are willing to update the form and adapt their policy and definitely recognise they are working within legislation like they have to so I guess it boils down to an issue of… the legislation needs updating, doesn't it."