Frozen embryos can be the answer to the couples, trying to conceive using artificial reproductive technology to obtain a biological child but this perceived boon may also turn into a bane, if and when the couple falls apart and aims for a divorce or a separation.
What Is Embryo Freezing?
The process of embryo feezing is medically assisted and involves in vitro fertilization which is a procedure through which eggs from a women’s ovaries are removed and combined with the sperm of a man in a laboratory to form embryos.
What Is An Embryo?
An embryo is an inceptive/early stage of developement of a multicellular organism.
Who Gets The Custody Of The Frozen Embryos?
Before beginning the vitro fertilisation procedure, your doctor may have had you and your spouse enter into an agreement that specifies what would happen to any frozen embryos if you would want to opt for a divorce in the future.
While signing the contract as a happy couple, you may have not realised that the contract signed by you is legally binding and comes with certain consequences if you weren’t on the same page as your spouse later on.
Apart from disagreements and other issues, there could be issues more complex if either spouse due to a medical condition for example a cancer treatment has become infertile and frozen embryos are the only hope and chance for him/her to have a biological child but one of the spouse does not wishes to have a child or maybe another child with the spouse they are wanting to end up with.
The opposition from the spouse could also be due to unwanted parental rights and responsibilities such as hooked up with providing child support.
Who really gets the custody of the frozen embryos totally depends on the circumstances of each case. But usually when the embryos are created a written contract is entered into between a husband and a wife that sets out the custody terms. if there has been no pre-existing agreement or absence of state law, then the decision is likely to be made by a court judge. However, in some states the said contract can be superseded by state law.
Recently, the case of actress Sophia Vergara and her ex-husband Nick Loeb who approached the court over the use of frozen pre-embryos could be seen. The couple while taking divorce had previously agreed to obtain a written consent from the other before using the pre-embryos. However, when the actress’s husband Nick wanted the embryos to be implanted into a surrogate without the consent of Sophia, the court sided with Sophia Vergara. The court stopped the Husband from using the embryos without the consent of his wife in accordance with the former agreement entered into by the couple.