France's top administrative court has ordered that a dead man's frozen sperm be transferred to Spain so that his widow can be inseminated.

The couple, who used to live in France, wanted to have a child but the husband died last year. His widow, who then returned to Spain, her home country, asked the French administration to allow her to use the sperm.

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Using a dead man's sperm for insemination is illegal in France, but in Spain the procedure is authorized within 12 months following the death.

The French Council of State ruled Tuesday that in this "very particular situation," applying French law would have "disproportionate consequences."

The husband had explicitly given his consent before his death to allow his sperm to be used.