Bulgaria: Should Women Be Allowed to Use Their Dead Spouses' Semen?

A 38-year-old woman's fight to get pregnant using her late husband's frozen semen might change the way the Bulgarian laws treat in vitro procedures. The woman's name is Asya Yordanova, a resident of the Sofian village Dolni Bogorov. 

Yordanova has been fighting the good fight for 8 months now. Asya and her husband - Spas became a family in 2015. They decided that they want an in vitro baby and in June 2017 they froze some of Spas' genetic material. The procedure had to be postponed because of health issues Asya had. However, shortly after that (less than a month) Spas died in a work accident. After overcoming the shock, Asya decided to get pregnant and visited the in vitro clinic she and Spas had previously consulted. She was horrified to learn that Bulgarian law forbids the use of genetic material of dead spouses and the frozen sperm is to be disposed of. 

This is where Asya's fight began. Yesterday she met with the Minister of Healthcare - Kiril Ananiev, who promised to consult lawyers, doctors, and lawmakers. The case is quite unusual and people seem to be sympathetic to the widow's predicament. Her mother is supporting her in her enterprise. Patient organizations are also in support of the cause - they have sent an official appeal to Minister Ananiev, urging him to find a solution to this precedent in the Bulgarian in vitro practice. 

 

Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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