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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 10:06 GMT
Diane Blood registers sons
Diane Blood with her sons Liam and Joel
Liam and Joel Blood have their father's name on their birth certificates
A widow who fought for the right to have children using her dead husband's sperm, is re-registering her two sons' births.

Earlier this year, Diane Blood, 37, of Worksop in Nottinghamshire, won her long legal battle to have her late partner legally recognised as the father.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Deceased Fathers) Act 2003 came into force on Monday.

Under the act, mothers such Mrs Blood whose children were conceived after their father's deaths, are given a six-month "window" in which to re-register their children's births.

Law changed

Until now, the child's paternal details had to be left blank, as if they were unknown.

Mrs Blood is re-registering her sons Liam Stephen Blood, four, and 16-month-old Joel Michael Blood at Sheffield Register Office.

She has fought since 1998 for the law to be changed to allow deceased fathers' names to appear on the birth certificates of posthumously conceived children.

Mrs Blood said the law was estimated to affect 30 existing families and may benefit a further five to 10 families a year, as children continue to be conceived posthumously.

Her husband, Stephen, 30, died from bacterial meningitis after falling into a coma in 1995.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority originally refused to allow her to conceive using his sperm.

This decision was upheld in the High Court, but the Court of Appeal allowed her to have IVF treatment using her dead husband's sperm in a Belgian clinic.

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
"For Diane Blood this was the end of a long, hard struggle"

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Diane Blood has second baby
17 Jul 02  |  England

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