Can a dead man father a child? Absolutely. Should he? Well, it all depends on who you ask.

Posthumous sperm retrieval is the extraction of the male's gametes, or sperm, after his death. Typically, the intention is to preserve the DNA of a man who has met a sudden or untimely death in order to continue his bloodline through assisted reproductive technology.

This medical procedure has been around for more than 40 years. The first recorded attempt at posthumous sperm retrieval dates back to 1980, and the first baby to be conceived with the help of the procedure was born in 1999.

Posthumous sperm retrieval is a controversial subject. In the United States, it is not regulated by law and the choice of whether to extract the sperm is given to the medical institution where the request is made. These requests are rare and far between, but they do occur. Other countries, such as France and Australia, have outright banned the procedure, while some others and the United Kingdom allow it provided there is evidence of written consent from the deceased.

The logistics of sperm retrieval

The subject is approached in widely different ways mainly because of the hefty ethical, logistical and legal