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Are frozen embryos considered property during a Texas divorce?

Many Texas couples face the heartbreaking reality of infertility. But advances in reproductive technology, invitro fertilization and other fertility alternatives have allowed many couples to become parents using artificial means. The question can arise as to what to do with embryos should the couple divorce or separate.

A woman in another state is devastated after a judge ruled that she and her ex-husband's frozen embryos were to be donated to a local fertility clinic. She claims that they underwent invitro fertilization, which resulted in several embryos that were then frozen for later use. The couple opted for this route when the wife learned she was to undergo chemotherapy treatment for cancer. The couple then later separated, and the ex-husband said he did not want to father any children.

Legislation in Arizona is being introduced that would allow embryos to be awarded to the parent who wishes to continue with the process of having another child or children. Currently, the courts can decide what happens to the embryos without consideration of a contract that may be in place. With consideration to the spouse who does not wish to go forward with the process to bring forth children from frozen embryos, judges can order the embryos to be destroyed or donated. This ruling could be due to the fact that after the child or children are born, child custody and child support may then become an argument for a parent who did not wish, at the time, to go through with the procedure or lay claim to the embryos.

Infertility is still a struggle, but couples have more options available to them to bring forth children now than ever before. Even so, a divorce or separation can leave frozen embryos in limbo until the divorce is finalized and a ruling made. A Texas attorney can provide guidance and legal direction when a marriage dissolves and the future of frozen embryos is an issue.

Source: azdailysun.com, "New bill addresses fate of couples' embryos in case of divorce", Feb. 23, 2018

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