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What happens to unused embryos in a Connecticut divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2021 | Family Law |

As more women have pursued higher education and competitive careers, more married couples have waited longer in life to start a family. This trend has led to a rise in fertility treatments to help these couples grow their families.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical process that typically involves each spouse contributing genetic materials in a medical setting so that specialists can create embryos. After medical preparation, the woman can then have the embryos implanted, often several at a time, hopefully resulting in a pregnancy.

IVF is expensive, and the medical charges involved can exacerbate marital issues. What happened to IVF embryos when a couple divorces in Connecticut?

The courts typically uphold IVF agreements

Fertility specialists want to protect themselves and their clients from future legal complications. When someone starts IVF treatment, they will usually execute in-depth contracts talking about everything from the costs of the process to what happens if the relationship between the aspiring parents ends.

Couples can agree ahead of time to destroy embryos, to let one spouse take them, to have the spouses share them or to donate them to another couple. The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled in the past to uphold contracts executed early in the fertility treatment process.

Even if one spouse is no longer happy with the terms in the contract, the chances are good that the original agreement will dictate the outcome in a litigated divorce. That means that reviewing your IVF documentation and looking at the terms you agreed to will let you know what will likely happen in your upcoming divorce.

Couples can sometimes reach agreements outside of court

If you choose to litigate your divorce, then, in most cases, the agreement with your spouse and the physician involved in your IVF procedures will dictate the outcome of your litigation.

However, as with many other matters in divorce, couples have the option of setting their own terms. You could potentially reach an amicable agreement that differs from your original agreement.

Reviewing your contract and thinking about your wishes can help you decide the next step to take if you find yourself considering divorce during or after an attempt at IVF.