Saturday, July 24

What Happens to Frozen Embryos Following Divorce: Arizona’s New Law

Many couples across the United States have chosen to store their frozen embryos in fertility clinics as a result of in vitro fertilization. IVF is a very popular choice for many, as about 85% to 90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. But, what happens to those frozen embryos if the couple ends up getting divorced? The State of Arizona has come up with a solution.

According to Buzzfeed, Arizona is the first state to pass a law that would give the embryo to the divorced person who wants to develop it to birth. Researchers say marriages only have about a 50% chance of lasting, which means a solution was much needed. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same. Gary Marchant, a law professor at Arizona State University, spoke with Buzzfeed about how this law could cause some serious problems.

“It’s an incredible intrusion into the bedroom and the private life of families,” Marchant said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Most fertility clinics have contracts forcing the couples to decide what they would do if they were to divorce, prior to freezing their embryos. But there have been a few cases that have had to be fought out in court. Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiance Nick Loeb are among the few dozens who have taken their case to court.

The law in Arizona comes after a specific court case from 2017. This case is in regards to Ruby Torres and her then-fiance. In 2014, Torres and her fiance created seven embryos using IVF. The two eventually got married, but in 2016, the husband filed for divorce. Afterward, Torres still wanted to keep the embryos. She argued that this would be her last chance at having children of her own as she had been diagnosed with cancer.

Unfortunately for Torres, her ex-husband fought against her and the court judge ruled in his favor. To this day, Torres is still fighting the case in the Arizona court of appeals.

The new law will hopefully be able to help many people dealing with similar situations as Torres. The law says that in cases where embryos are fully developed, the parent who wasn’t in favor of the use wouldn’t have parental responsibility. They wouldn’t have to pay child support, either.

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