The parents of West Point cadet Peter Zhu lost their 21-year-old son to a skiing accident in March — but they still plan on continuing on his family line.
A judge has ruled that Zhu’s parents can use his frozen sperm to birth children because they stated that their son dreamed of someday becoming a father, People reports.
The West Point cadet broke his spine while skiing on campus on February 27. He was pronounced brain dead due to a spinal injury but was put on life support because he was an organ donor.
4 years at West Point, 5 years active duty, 3 years reserve… here we go! #committed
That’s when his parent first petitioned the court to extract his sperm. They explained in the initial court filing obtained by the New York Times:
Without obtaining sperm from Peter’s body, we will never be able to help Peter realize this dream of bringing a child into the world. This is our one and only chance of fulfilling Peter’s wishes and preserving his incredible legacy.
…We now beg the court not to further devastate our family by eliminating the possibility of preserving some piece of our child that might live on.
Zhu’s parents said he wanted to have five children and that they needed to carry on the family line for “deeply personal cultural reasons.” The filing read:
Peter took this role very seriously, and fully intended to carry on our family’s lineage through children of his own.
Justice John P. Colangelo granted their wish because of Zhu’s strong desire to have children in life, he said.
After giving permission to have the sperm extracted, the judge decided in a separate ruling this month that the parents can use it how they see fit.
The court documents read:
Even though Peter did not expressly state that he wanted his sperm to be used for reproductive purposes… should his parents choose to do so in the future, it would not do violence to his memory.
As of now, the parents have not done anything with the extracted sperm.
A GoFundMe campaign to create a memorial fund for the late cadet has raised over $11,000 so far.