Monday, July 20, 2015

Who Gets The Embryos?

Have you ever wondered about the law regarding parental rights when one of the parents doesn't want to be a parent? 

OK, maybe I didn't word that quite right, let me try again. Let's say a girl is pregnant but doesn't want to be and the father wants the child, what does the law say about that? I did a little research, and as it turns out, he has no say in whether or not she keeps the child. Since it is her body and she physically bears the child and is more directly affected by the pregnancy she has all the rights. I bring this up because I recently heard about a couple who are in a battle over parental rights in a somewhat similar way.

She is a doctor and he is an investment executive and they used to be married. Early in their relationship, she was diagnosed with cancer so they froze several embryos before her treatment. It is now years later, they are now divorced and she is unfortunately infertile due to the cancer treatments. He doesn't want her to use the embryos but she says they are her only chance for a biological child.  They both signed an agreement that states that the embryos would be destroyed in the case of a divorce, which should have stopped the battle but the clinic went on to say that really that agreement is more of a guideline not a contract. So the battle rages on. He insists he would want to be involved in his child's life but can't be around her and fears she would poison their child against him.
So I started to really wonder about who is right here? She is claiming she has the right to use the embryos because she has the right to procreate and I guess she has a point but does she have the right to create a life with someone who doesn't want to?  Does he have the right to prevent it? Or is he just being spiteful because the marriage didn't work? Maybe it comes down to ownership or in parental terms, support. It is not free to store the embryos, so do they belong to the one paying the bill for the storage? Also, does she really have a right to procreate? To say something is a right means everyone gets it, but not everyone gets to procreate so isn't it more of a privilege? 

This couple went to court to decide the fate of their embryos and in as little as a few weeks a judge will set a precedent with a ruling that could decide the fate of not just this couples' embryos but  thousands of others still in storage.

What do you think? Should she be allowed to force him to be a parent against his will? Should he be allowed to deny her her biological child? 

Seems to me there is no clear cut, easy answer. You could say, she can still have a child with donor embryos or donor eggs and you'd be right. But I'm still on the fence about that decision myself. I would so much rather use frozen embryos from an ex, even if it ended badly than embryos or eggs from a stranger if it were possible.

It sure would have been easier if they had frozen the eggs and  sperm separately!

If you want to learn more about this story, here is a link to the article I found that best described the on going battle!

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo

Written By Bonnie
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Future Mom
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