Oct 16, 2008

Oregon Wife Wins Right to Dispose of Frozen Embryos

Following a general trend in an emerging area of divorce law, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on October 8 that a divorced wife has the right to dispose of frozen embryos that she and her ex-husband created during their marriage.

The couple's agreement with the facility storing their embryos designated the wife as the person with the sole legal right to make decisions about them. The appeals court held that the agreement was binding on the divorcing husband and wife, and ordered that the embryos be destroyed at the wife's election. The court rejected the husband's argument that the embryos were alive, and followed other courts in finding that one spouse does not have the right to impose parental obligations on the other.

A blog post at www.divorce-lawyer-source.com says that there are more than 100,000 stored embryos across the country, and I agree with the assessment in that article that this issue is going to keep coming up in divorces as more and more couples use alternative reproductive technology to have children.

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