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Family law may be contemplating the future of frozen embryos

Connecticut couples who face the unfortunate circumstances of infertility have multiple resources available to help with the process of becoming parents. Advances in reproductive technology have allowed many of those who suffer from the inability to conceive naturally a way to still experience the joys of pregnancy and parenthood. What is concerning many family law advocates at this time is what to do with frozen embryos should the once happy couple decide to separate?

A judge in another state has recently ruled that a recently divorced couple's frozen embryos be donated to a local fertility clinic. The woman was devastated, as she had planned to use the embryos to start a family without her ex-husband, after dealing with cancer had forced them to take the in vitro route in the first place. After the couple split, the now ex-husband says he does not want to father any children.

In Arizona, where this case is unfolding, legislation is being introduced that would allow frozen embryos to be awarded to the parent who wishes to proceed with the procedure, should a divorce or separation occur. Currently, most courts will decide the fate of the embryos, often without consideration of a contract that may be in place. Some may argue that for a parent who no longer wishes to have children or does not wish to have children with an ex-spouse after the fact could be subject to child support and custody issues later down the road.

Even with advances in reproductive health and technology, infertility is still a struggle and the options can be overwhelming. Should a divorce or separation occur during the process of creating a family, frozen embryos can be left in limbo until the divorce is finalized and a ruling regarding the embryos is made. A Connecticut attorney who is familiar with family law with regard to assisted reproduction technologies can provide guidance and legal direction with regard to the future of any frozen embryos belonging to a couple.

Source: azdailysun.com, "New bill addresses fate of couples' embryos in case of divorce", Feb. 23, 2018

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