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Hecht v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
20 Cal. Rptr. 2d 275 (1993)


Facts

William Kane deposited sperm into a sperm bank and committed suicide approximately one month later. Under Kane’s agreement with the bank, the bank was to hold or release the sperm depending on the wishes of the executor of Kane’s estate. Kane’s will named his live-in girlfriend of five years, Deborah Hecht (defendant), as the estate’s executor. Kane’s will left the sperm to Hecht to use to have a child if she wished. Kane’s adult children asked the administrator of Kane’s estate (plaintiff) to destroy the sperm. The children asserted that the posthumous conception Hecht contemplated was against public policy. The administrator petitioned the court, asking how to handle the children’s request. In response, Hecht argued that the sperm was her property. The trial court granted the children’s request to have the sperm destroyed. Hecht appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lillie, J.)

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