The answer is yes, a doctor can harvest sperm from a cadaver. The next question is whether the doctor should.
By January 1, 2019 there will only be three states that have published statutes or case law that prohibit compensated surrogacy contracts - those states being Louisiana, Michigan and New York. With the State of Washington amending its Uniform Parentage Act to decriminalize compensated surrogacy to be effective January 1, 2019 and New Jersey just recently providing for enforceable gestational carrier agreements.
I have just had the time to sit down and peruse Jason Adkins' counterpoint editorial on surrogacy in the January 31 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It is disturbing how factually inaccurate it is when asserted in the context of consideration of surrogacy regulation in Minnesota. It seems we are moving as a society in the direction of political and social awareness based on a universe of "alternative facts." If someone says something without any factual foundation loud and often enough, it apparently becomes credible - it becomes "true" even when it is not.
Aspiring parents resort to using a surrogate pregnancy to have a child when no intended parent can gestate the child. This can happen for many different reasons. An aspiring mother may be unable to gestate because she no longer has a functioning uterus or because of her own health risks during a pregnancy. Same-sex male couples use surrogacy to supply the uterus they do not possess.
Starting a family is harder for those suffering from uterine infertility and same-sex couples who must use a surrogate to have a child. As with other issues related to the parentage of children, the laws in each state and each country differ, and it's very complex to plan a reliable family-building process amid the discrepancies.
This is not the only case dealing with the challenges of assisted reproduction or surrogacy in America. Issues concerning legality and morality of these practices have always existed since these practices started back in the 1980s. Disposition of stored embryos in divorce is complicated by the fact that each state has, or is developing, its own individual law governing the issue; family law and all its aspects are not governed by uniform federal law but by each individual state's law.
Many same-sex couples come to our firm with questions about assisted reproduction. They want to know their options for starting a family and what they need to do to ensure that they are protected throughout the process. Welcoming a child into their lives is an exciting time, and it is important that they understand some of the challenges that they may face.
Surrogacy arrangements should never face the kind of dispute that arose in this recent California case. This is an example of surrogacy gone wrong. Fortunately, with the right professional guidance, this should never happen. Unfortunately, it happened in this case and may cause unwarranted restrictions to be imposed on other intended parents and surrogates who are pursuing surrogacy responsibly to build a family.