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Frozen embryos spark court battle for divorced couple

A divorced couple from California is now in a bitter court battle that centers around frozen embryos. Most recently, the former husband and his camp said that the woman really was just after money, and that the embryos were a tool she was trying to use to get it.

The whole thing started years ago, when the couple was happily married. The woman found out that she had developed breast cancer when she was 41 years old, right before the two said their vows. That was five years ago, as she is now 46.

The couple felt that the breast cancer could be a hindrance in the future if they wanted to have kids, potentially making such a thing impossible. To combat this, they had embryos harvested and frozen, intending to use them if they wanted children down the line.

After just a few years of marriage, the husband decided he wanted a divorce and filed the paperwork. He has asked for the destruction of the embryos.

As she had feared, though, the woman has become infertile, so she can no longer have children. She would like to take those embryos and use one, along with a surrogate mother, so that she can have offspring who are directly descended from her.

The decision of what should be done with these embryos is the final pieces of the puzzle in their divorce case, and it will be determined in the San Francisco County Superior Court.

In complex and uncommon child custody cases like this one, it is more important than ever for both parties to know what legal options they have.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Divorced couple fighting in court over frozen embryos,” Maura Dolan, July 13, 2015

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