Divorce and Frozen Embryos: Who Gets the Future Kids?

DivorceSome couples dream of kids in the future but lack the biological means. To compensate, they resort to frozen embryos and wait for the right time.

But if a divorce occurs, who gets to decide when the right time should be?

The complications in in-vitro fertilization in divorce proceedings

While in-vitro fertilization poses numerous benefits for family planning, it complicates the process of divorce. The procedure sheds light on the issue of whether a partner’s right to reproduce outweighs the other’s right to privacy. Personal entitlement becomes an issue during the proceedings.

Such rise in technology continues to expose gaps in family laws. Until the American legislature comes up with sturdy laws regarding the issue, the courts will continue to struggle with custody and frozen embryos.

Positions on the legal status of frozen embryos

The law continues to consider each party’s circumstance regarding the case but no law remains consistent. For Matthewsfamilylawyers.com, lawyers experienced in child custody, the issues remain inconsistent in the characterization of the embryos.

To achieve partial unity, courts adopt three positions on a frozen embryo’s legal status:

• Some courts grant embryos all the legal rights of humans because they are biologically alive. They believe these embryos possess the potential to be born, which also emphasizes the intent to protect human life.

• For others, the embryos serve as property similar to human tissue.

• To reconcile both arguments, the third position considers embryos as beings that require status and respect — not human life but more than property.

Caution in dealing with assisted reproductive technology

There remains no legal consensus on the issue. Until one emerges, couples cannot have reasonable expectations on custody rights, especially with frozen embryos. Legal uncertainty regarding the issue should convince couples to consider the risks related with in-vitro fertilization.

It is important to consult an experienced child custody attorney to discuss rights. Knowing one’s responsibilities concerning embryo custody can shed light on such a complicated issue.

Until there is a firm law regarding the custody of frozen embryos, couples should consider their options carefully. Either they promise to remain in the marriage, or find less legally complicated means to fulfill their dreams of children.

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