Mistress Uses Frozen Embryos to Conceive Dead Lover’s Child, Sues His Family for Inheritance

A Chinese woman who had an affair with a married businessman who died in a car accident used frozen embryos to conceive a child she claimed was his and then sued his family for inheritance.

In a case that sparked a heated debate in China, a Guangdong woman surnamed Leng sued her deceased lover’s wife for part of his fortune as inheritance for her baby boy, who she claimed was her lover’s heir. The unusual dispute began in 2021, soon after the tragic death of the man, surnamed Wen, in a car accident. Leng claimed to have frozen some of her eggs prior to the accident which were later fertilised using Wen’s sperm at a private fertility clinic. In December of 2021, she gave birth to a healthy son she named Xiaowen, and in August of last year, she sued her former lover’s family, asking for a part of their estate as an inheritance for her son.

Photo: Unsplash

As part of her lawsuit, Leng asked for property, company equity shares, and insurance benefits for Xiaowen as Wen’s heir. Unfortunately for her, the woman could not prove that the boy had been fertilized by Wen, or that he had given her consent to conceive the baby using his sperm. As a result, her claim was dismissed by the court.

The case made news headlines in China following the Court’s verdict, with many declaring their shock at the woman’s attempt to use her young child as a bargaining chip for her dead lover’s fortune.

“How terrible! She’ll do anything for money,” one person wrote on Weibo.

“I hope the wife makes a counter-claim against the mistress,: someone else wrote.

One lawyer told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that while China’s 2021 Civil Code stipulates that any living fetus in a mother’s body is entitled to inheritance and gifts, it makes no mention of frozen embryos. Another said that IVF procedures at licensed clinics were legal, but that the procedure should be agreed upon by both parents, which was unclear in this particular case.

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