In this case, the judge took an open-minded approach in addressing whether or not a couple had been “common-law” in the eyes of the law. Mr. Chambers applied for a declaration that he was the “spouse” of Ms. Connor, within the meaning of s. 2 of WESA, although they were not legally married, did not live together and did not have any children. Ms. Connor did not have any children and she was predeceased by both her parents and her only full sibling. The application was opposed by Ms. Connor’s five half-siblings, which Ms. Connor had never met.
This curious case arose after the deceased had struggled with extensive medical conditions, but he and his wife had wanted to have a family together and agreed the wife would use his reproductive material to conceive a child. The couple had agreed that regardless of whether he died, the wife would use his reproductive material to conceive. The deceased died intestate and the estate passed to his wife whereupon she applied for a declaration that the human reproductive material of her husband was her sole legal property and that it should be released to her for her use absolutely to create embryos.