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Connecticut rules on contracts regarding embryos in divorce

| Jan 31, 2020 | Alternative Reproduction |

People will go to whatever lengths necessary to have children if that is what they want to do. Surrogacy and adoption used to be the only options beyond pregnancy and biological children, but technology has leaped ahead, and the law occasionally needs to catch up.

Connecticut is one of the early states to deal with the matter of alternative reproduction in divorce. After a similar case was ruled upon in Arizona, the Supreme Court in Hartford decided to uphold an agreement between spouses to destroy embryonic material in cold storage in the event of the end of the marriage.

One of the spouses argued that the agreement cannot be enforced because the embryos constitute life. A lower court sided with her, saying the agreement lacked the necessary consideration. But the higher court reversed this decision, saying there was no evidence that the embryos were human beings, and there was consideration in the form of the genetic material contributed to the embryos.

The court declined to rule specifically on the matter of a contract resulting in a genetic parent without consent. Courts in California and Missouri have ruled on this matter, but it remains a legal question in Connecticut.

Spouses concerned about the future of alternative reproduction as they consider separation or divorce can always consult an attorney for help. Legal representation is often a vital part of the divorce process, as lawyers can work out what people are reasonably entitled to and defend their interests in negotiations, mediations or court appearances. No one should go through that difficult process without help.