Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dead man to have child

The mother of a slain Israeli soldier has won court approval to use sperm harvested from his dead body to father a grandchild.

Rachel Cohen said the creation of a child was her son's fondest wish and a Ramat Gan court has given her approval to make it come true after his death, The Times of London reported Thursday.

The unprecedented legal decision allows the family of Keivin Cohen, who was killed by a sniper in Gaza in 2002, to use sperm taken after his death to inseminate a woman chosen by his family and a charity group.

Cohen said her actions were driven by her son's wishes.Although Mr Cohen, 20, was single and had left no written expression of his desire to become a father, his family claimed that had long been his wish.

The Cohens appealed for volunteers who were willing to be impregnated with the sperm and raise the child. In an interview on Israel's Channel 10 news, Mr Cohen's mother, Rachel, said more than 200 women offered to help.

During the four-year legal case, Ms Rosenblum presented testimony from Mr Cohen's family and friends that he had said he wanted children.

"Every time I go to his grave and touch his cold tombstone I tell myself how wonderful it would be to hold a warm child in my arms instead," she said. "For Keivin it was his soul's desire to have children."

Irit Rosenblum, of the New Family charity which assisted the Cohens in their legal battle, said legal responsibility for the child would belong solely to his or her grandparents.

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