As a follow-up to an earlier blog regarding the disposition of embryos in a divorce…the verdict is in. A San Francisco judge ruled Wednesday that the embryos a woman wanted to use over her ex-husbands objections must be discarded.
The couple had signed a consent form prior to an embryo harvesting procedure, agreeing to destroy the embryos if they divorced. However, the woman, who is in her late 40’s and a cancer survivor, battled for the custody of the embryos believing they were her only chance to have a child.
The ex-husband had no interest in fathering a child with his ex-wife and feared she would seek child support for any embryo producing a child. Although, the woman stated she would waive child support, the California courts did not have the authority to enforce such an agreement.
Despite the woman’s pleas, the agreement she and her then husband signed stands. In the decision the Superior Court Judge reflected, “It is a disturbing consequence of modern biological technology that the fate of nascent human life, which the embryos in this case represent, must be determined in a court by reference to cold legal principles.”
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Divorced Couple’s Frozen Embryos Must Be ‘Thawed and Discarded,” Judge Rules”, by Maura Dolan, November 18, 2015.