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Custody of Children in the Age of In Vitro Fertilization

Recently, a Court out of Canada ruled that a divorced woman can keep a fertilized embryo that her ex-husband and her had paid for while they were married. The Judge determined that it was “property” and granted the woman rights to the fertilized embryo.[1] In Vitro Fertilization has caused many problems in the legal world and will likely continue to do so. In America, many of the answers to the following questions are still up for debate in Courts in every state: Is a fertilized embryo property to be given to one party or another? Or, is a fertilized embryo a child, and the future of the child should be determined through a custody action? What if one spouse wants to keep the fertilized embryo but the other spouse doesn’t want to keep the fertilized embryo and also doesn’t want the other spouse to have the fertilized embryo? Can the Courts force a divorcing party to be a parent against their own wish? Can the contract that a Husband and Wife sign with the fertilization facility trump the “parental rights” that the Husband and Wife have over their fertilized embryo? Most of these questions are still unanswered or up for debate in most of the jurisdictions in the United States.  Fortunately, that is why attorneys exist. If you have any of these issues in your divorce, consider calling an attorney to help you navigate this complicated area of law.

 

 

 

[1] https://news.wbfo.org/post/ontario-court-decides-embryo-property-divorce

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