A Spanish actress attempting to adopt her granddaughter has ignited a firestorm after it was discovered that she used her deceased son’s sperm to impregnate a surrogate three years after his death.
Ana Obregón, a well-known celebrity in Spain, announced the girl’s birth in a cover story for Hola! magazine in April, per a report from CNN. The 68-year-old star discussed how the child was conceived using sperm samples from her son Aless, who died of cancer in 2020 when he was 27. The child’s mother is a Cuban woman who lives in Florida.
The child, named Ana Sandra Lequio Obregón after her grandmother, was born in Miami and will have a U.S. passport. Obregón plans on registering her at the Spanish consulate in Miami before bringing her back to Spain, where she’ll live permanently with her grandmother.
“This girl isn’t my daughter, but my granddaughter,” she told Hola!, per CNN. “She is Aless’ daughter and when she grows up I will tell her that her father was a hero.” Obregón also mentioned that her son wanted a big family and she was open to repeating the process in the future.
The story became a huge scandal in Spain and raised both legal and ethical questions. Surrogacy is currently illegal in the country and sperm samples can only be used to impregnate a widowed partner within 12 months of the donor’s death, and then only with their explicit permission, the publication noted.
Critics say Obregón doesn’t have the legal right to bring baby Ana into Spain since she was born by methods which are illegal in the country. The actress argues that it should be permissible because adopting a baby born abroad is legal, and she is currently recognized as the child’s guardian in the U.S. Obregón also claimed that the child being conceived was her son’s dying wish.
“It seems questionable to me that the wishes of the deceased would have been for his sperm to be used to impregnate an egg in the body of a woman in another country,” philosophy professor Gonzalo Velasco said during an interview with radio station Cadena Ser. “It seems quite convoluted.”
The professor also compared the whole situation to a Stephen King horror story.
President of Spain’s Association of Political Communication (ACOP) Verónica Fumanal also compared the scandal to fiction, saying it reminded her of the TV series “Black Mirror,” which has been described as a modern-day “Twilight Zone.”
“She bought herself a granddaughter with sperm from her dead son,” Fumanal said. “She put a camera in her face and sold the exclusive.”
CNN also noted that Obregón is writing a book about the experience.