They say there is never a right time to have a child, so why wait? I disagree, for most people there is a right time financially and psychologically.
This 'right time' is mythically the point when you, or you and your partner feel ready. Of course each person's notion of ready differs. What is important is to feel as though you have the choice and time to make up your mind. For Beth Warren and her partner Warren Brewer the time within which they could make this choice and experience the right time or moment was running out. Her partner of eight years, Warren Brewer, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Faced with their uncertain future they decided to freeze his sperm to allow Beth Warren to carry his child, if she should so wish, in the future. Before Warren embarked upon his treatment they froze his sperm and married six weeks before his death.
Under the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Authority the donor must renew their consent on a regular basis in order for the sperm to continue to be stored. Of course this makes no allowances for when the donor is deceased and therefore unable to renew. This is a perfect example of how the law seems flexible but has not legislated for all circumstances.
The deadline for renewing the permission to use Warren's sperm would have expired in April 2015. Limited by time, Beth Warren was forced to place something that most women take for granted (until the ability to have children is removed) onto the scales of justice, and on the 6th of March, the High Court ruled that she could store her husband's sperm for a period of up to 55 years.
I applaud this empathetic, balanced and rational verdict. Reading the multiple character sketches of Mrs Warren she is clearly someone who understands the weighty decision it would be to bring a child into the world who would not know their father. There can be no fear that in the circumstances such a decision would not be compassionately communicated to her child.
There are always critics. They bemoan that using the sperm of a deceased husband is not the traditional way to conceive a child. They look at the youth of Beth Warren and use the tired coined phrase that 'she has her whole life ahead of her' where she might meet someone else or conceive a child with a living partner. These arguments cloud the purity of the judgment.
The timing of the judgment is poignant being made in the same week as International Women's Day held annually on the 8 March. It gives Beth the time to make a decision about whether she wishes to conceive a child with her late husband without a deadline hanging over her head. It gives her enough time to make her choice.