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Melissa A. Featherston

Frozen embryos and parental rights at the center of dispute

A Missouri woman is fighting for the right to implant embryos created and frozen before she and her husband divorced. This cases raises interesting questions regarding parental rights and the fate of embryos after a couple divorces or chooses not to use them. A judge denied the woman permission to implant the embryos, but she intends to continue to fight for her desired outcome. 

Before divorcing in 2014, the couple had two children through in vitro fertilization. Apparently, the couple jointly own the embryos, but the husband does not want to have any more children with his former spouse, stating that they had an extremely difficult divorce. The couple did sign an agreement with the storage facility stating that in case of divorce, the woman would get to keep the embryos.

The judge has ruled that the two former spouses jointly owned the embryos. Neither one can destroy or use the embryos without permission from the other party. The woman states that she is disappointed that the court system is treating the embryos like property, and that she feels an obligation to bring to life to the embryos that she created with her ex-husband.

Sometimes, family law matters concern non-traditional or complex legal matters. It is important to initially work with an experienced attorney in order to protect parental rights and draft an agreement that will prevent future legal battles. If an individual in Missouri is concerned about the legal issues that pertain to embryo creation and use, it is wise to seek a complete case evaluation with a lawyer.

Source: wfmynews2.com, "Divorced Woman Fights To Implant Frozen Embryos From Ex", Jennifer Meckles, Dec. 24, 2015

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