Embryos and divorce: What to do with frozen embryo assets

After a divorce, one thing that might be a concern is what happens if you've frozen sperm or embryos to use with your now-ex husband or wife. Not addressing what happens to these embryos can lead to problems down the line. For instance, one couple who got a divorce is fighting over them because the woman wants to get pregnant with the embryos. However, her ex-husband doesn't want her to have any more of his children.

Their case is special because the woman won access to the embryos in their divorce. By all legal means, she should have had the right to have them implanted and to have as many children as she wanted from them. The embryos were considered to be marital property and were treated as such during the asset division process. A family court ruled later that they should be joint property, not owned by one person or the other, but this still leaves them in limbo.

The problem with frozen embryos and implanting them into a woman is that she could essentially ask for child support from the father, since he wouldn't be considered a donor under certain family laws in California. It's possible to sign away your rights to a child, but if the other party didn't want to let that happen, then it could become a very contentious court battle.

This is a complicated situation, and if you're facing it, you have every right to be concerned. It's not just your future that is at risk, and it's important that your rights and requests are respected.

Source: Times of San Diego, "A Modern Dilemma: What Happens to Frozen Embryos After Divorce?," Sep. 04, 2016

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