Thursday, May 31, 2007
LA Times: Her embryos or his?
Kevin Sack reports for the LA Times:
Advances in assisted reproduction have created a legal landscape that judges and lawmakers could hardly have envisioned before 1984, when an Australian baby became the first created from a frozen embryo (the first U.S. birth came two years later). Since then, in vitro fertilization, or IVF, has become an immensely popular solution to fertility problems worldwide....
Embryo storage and maintenance has become a huge headache for fertility clinics, which often cannot coax couples into either destroying or donating them to research or to other couples....
And with some regularity, couples separate without clear agreements about embryo disposition.
Because there is no federal precedent for settling such disputes, state courts have been left to make Solomonic decisions on embryo custody. To date, the top courts of six states have ruled in such cases. While the case particulars have varied, a trend has emerged. In general, the courts have held that the right of one ex-spouse to not procreate trumps that of the other to procreate.