What should divorcing couples do with their frozen embryos? While most people are familiar with how couples separate their assets, divide their property, and decide on child custody arrangements following divorce, what about their frozen embryos?
Divorce is an emotional and complicated process. The legal system is filled with many legal terminologies, documents, and regulations. It’s best to seek the advice of a reputable attorney. Get legal advice!
Confidentiality agreement for embryo storage
The safe preservation of embryos is subject to stringent laws and depends on participants’ expressly recorded consent. Conditions of consent are recorded at the time an embryo is generated and kept, including:
- How long the embryos should be kept in storage
- Describe what would happen to you or someone you love if they passed away or lost the ability to make decisions for themselves.
- Which of the following: whether the embryos can be given, used in research, or only for your own treatment
- Other requirements you could have for using your embryos.
Before the embryos are used for fertility treatment, either party can change or withdraw consent at any time. It should be thought about what would happen to any embryos remaining in storage if a couple later decides to divorce.
Embryos can typically be stored for ten years (increased to 12 years owing to COVID), but under specific conditions, women may store their embryos for up to 55 years.
How does a divorce or separation affect it?
It’s crucial to carefully weigh your alternatives for changing or withdrawing your consent when you divorce or separate from your partner or spouse, even if this is a very delicate subject. There are numerous possibilities. One may:
- Accept the embryos’ prolonged storage in storage.
- Accept the use of the embryos for IVF in the future (this has implications for legal parenthood, so it would be important to give this careful consideration)
- Give the embryos to a person or couple who needs them.
- Put them to use in science and research.
- Ask for their destruction.
There are many reasons why couples want to preserve their fertility and store embryos, so what works for you might not be the best solution for someone else. Although choices made will have an impact on fertility and the potential to start a family in the future, it is crucial that couples are aware of all their alternatives.