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Who Gets The Embryos In Divorce?


Science has truly changed the way people make families in today’s society. It’s now possible and somewhat common for couples to freeze and preserve embryos, so they can have babies when they are ready. This is often a result of trying to get pregnant through IVF or when one person undergoes a medical treatment that may impact their fertility moving forward.

As great as that all is, it has also led to other legal problems, including problems revolving around frozen embryos in divorce. If you are going through a divorce in Georgia and have frozen embryos, you need to think about what happens next and who gets the embryos, if anyone does.

At Buckhead Family Law, we are here to help you understand what legal rights you have when it comes to the sensitive subject if your embryos.

Agreements with Fertility Clinics

As this problem has come into the light more and more, fertility clinics have realized that they need to plan for what happens to the embryos in divorce as well. In particular, if you are going to be using either donor egg or donor sperm, there may be stipulations in place. If someone is already pregnant and the baby is already growing, then there is very little that can be done.

However, the embryos themselves are a different story. Sometimes, one party will want to use those embryos, particularly if they don’t have another chance to have a biological child. Other times, both parties may want to dispose of the embryos in some way. The embryos can be donated in certain situations, or they can be destroyed.

Most often, the language of the contract with the fertility clinic and any donors will have the ultimate control over what happens to the embryo. For example, the agreement may stipulate that the embryo will be disposed of or it may say that the embryo can be used for scientific research.

It is very unlikely that the courts will go against what the contract says.

Divorces in Georgia & Frozen Embryo Laws

Some states have specific laws about how fertility clinics must handle embryos after divorce. Georgia doesn’t have any specific laws yet, so it is still up to the fertility clinic’s discretion. Most clinics will work with you through these situations, and come up with a solution before it is ever needed, but that isn’t always the case.

In general, the courts are hesitant to give one party control of the embryos because it will impact both lives. The frozen embryo has the potential to grow into a baby. Sometimes, people will get custody of the embryo with the express intent to control the disposing of it, but that is extremely rare. Even rarer is the case of someone implanting the embryo and using it to have a child.

Need A Lawyer to Help You with An Embryo Dispute?

No matter what, it is always best to work as amicably as possible with your ex-spouse to come to a conclusion that is best for both of you. However, at Buckhead Family Law, we understand that isn’t always possible and a frozen embryo can make the entire process that much harder. Our experienced legal team is here to present you with your most beneficial custody agreement and legal options to help you move on with your life quickly while still getting what you justly deserve. We are here to assist you as you begin the next chapter of your life. Schedule a consultation today by calling at 470-600-6699.

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