Frozen Embryos Are Increasingly Becoming an Issue in Divorces

Increases in technology have made it possible for couples in Colorado to delay becoming parents until they wish to do so. A woman’s eggs can be harvested and then fertilized through in vitro fertilization. The resulting embryo can then be frozen and thawed and implanted at a time of the couple’s choosing. However, if the couple ends up divorcing, the fate of those frozen embryos can sometimes lead to a battle in court.

One such case is currently before the Missouri State Court of Appeals, according to CNS News. A couple used IVF when conceiving their twin sons. Two embryos were not used and were frozen. The couple then later split. The wife reported that her husband had agreed to give her the embryos in the event of a divorce, but he has expressed in court that he does not want her to have them. He has said that he would consent to donating them for research or to another couple rather than destroying them.

Many groups are backing the husband, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. However, much support is also being thrown toward the wife from numerous pro-life organizations. The parties are currently awaiting a ruling from the court.

In 2015, another case involving frozen embryos was heard in California. In that case, the parties had agreed in writing that their frozen embryos would be destroyed in the event of a split, according to USA Today. However, the wife was diagnosed with cancer and believed that the embryos represented her only chance of having children. Her ex-husband expressed concern that any child born from the embryos may create a financial obligation on his part. A judge ultimately ruled that that the agreement must be honored and the embryos destroyed.

Tags: Child Custody

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