When Sergeant Dayne Darren Dhanoolal of Columbus, Georgia, died on March 31, 2008, while serving in Iraq, Kynesha Dhanoolal, his widow, hoped to be able to fulfill his expressed wish of having children.' She obtained a temporary restraining order in federal court to prevent the military from embalminp Sergeant Dhanoolal until someone extracted and froze samples of his sperm. Mrs. Dhanoolal planned to be artificially inseminated with the sperm as early as that summer. While this may sound like the stuff of science fiction, science and technology no longer limit human reproduction to the act of sexual intercourse. Couples today have options such as surrogacy, artificial insemination, and in vitro fertilization - techniques collectively referred to as assisted reproductive technology. In fact, it is now even possible for a couple to conceive a child with both parents' genetic material, even if one parent dies before actual conception. Known as posthumous conception, this form of conception is occurring in increasing numbers. Some spouses resort to posthumous conception upon the death of a spouse from a terminal illness. The ongoing military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan and continued U.S. troop casualties have only increased the number of soldiers' widows who use in vitro fertilization and other methods to conceive children from the extracted gametes of their spouses.
Kimberly E. Naguit,
Inadequacies of Missouri Intestacy Law: Addressing the Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children, The,
74 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol74/iss3/22