GHOST DADS explores life, legacy, and loss through the families and medical professionals navigating posthumous sperm retrieval and IVF after death.
Postmortem sperm retrieval, or PMSR, is a medical procedure that extracts sperm from men in the 72 hours after their death. Despite its invention in the 1970s, PMSR remains an unfamiliar idea to most Americans. Much like the early days of organ donation, many doctors aren’t aware of the option, and most families wouldn’t know to ask upon a loved one’s sudden death. For those in the know, the topic can be divisive, raising murky questions over consent, religion, ethics, grief, and the law.
Through intimate verité storytelling, the film weaves together the perspectives of the doctors advancing the technology and the families going through the experience in real-time. Each character’s story investigates the decision-making within families; the evolution of grief over time; and the lengths you might go for a miracle in the face of loss. PMSR immerses you in a world where people are grappling with life-altering decisions on a daily basis, begging the question: should postmortem sperm retrieval become more commonplace in our culture?