Monday, February 5, 2007

Custody Battles of the Future

With more and more couples waiting until later in life to decide to have children, infertility and in vitro fertilization has become an increasingly popular way for a couple to conceive. There are thousands of embryos sitting in freezers right now and the debate over what should happen to any "leftovers" has been brewing for years. A new question that has arisen recently is what should happen to the frozen embryos when a couple decides to get a divorce? Who should be given custody of the embryos and are these embryos considered property or human life? While I won't quote myself on my opinion on this ethical question, I do see the validity in setting precedence with respect to whether a woman should be allowed to complete the in vitro fertilization process without the consent of her ex-husband. So far, the half-dozen state supreme courts that have handed down opinions about embryos in divorce cases have sided with a person's right not to be forced into parenthood. The way in which these cases have been decided sparks an interesting debate concerning paternal rights and a man's involvement in the decision to bring life into this world. While I don't believe that this debate will end anytime soon, I think its just a matter of time before the United States Supreme Court hears a case regarding property rights and frozen embryos.

The article this blog is based upon can be found at:

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