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Family law: Couple disagree over embryo custody

When people in New Hampshire choose to end their marriage, there are several decisions that must be made. In some cases where couples have utilized in vitro fertilization, what happens to frozen embryos is often a complicated aspect of family law. Many couples have an agreement in place when they create the embryos, but several cases have found their way to court.

One out-of-state couple agreed when they went through the process that the courts would decide the fate of the embryos should their marriage end in divorce. Reports indicate that the couple married in 2002 and had three children together using IVF. However, when they decided to divorce in 2014, they still had six frozen embryos remaining. The husband did not want any other children while the wife claimed that the embryos were the only way to achieve the larger family she desires.

Trial and appellate courts agreed with the husband, claiming that his right not to procreate trumps the woman's desire to have more children; however, the case is being appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. While judges have sided with the woman in similar cases in the past, those decisions typically come only when the embryos were a woman's last chance to have another child. In this case, the woman has since had a fourth child, calling into question whether these embryos are her only option.

Because issues of family law are unique and can be complicated, many people in New Hampshire may be unfamiliar with their options, making it difficult to effectively argue their side. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who can help these people. Such a professional can ensure that their voices are heard in court.

Source: ABC News, "Divorced couple take their fight over frozen embryos to Colorado Supreme Court", Andrew Fies, Jan. 10, 2018

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