Many married couples in Virginia undergo a process known in vitro fertilization in order to conceive a child. This issue has been the central focus in an ongoing legal battle between two former spouses in another state. After their divorce, the wife desired to retain possession and access to embryos she had frozen after she and her then-husband underwent in vitro fertilization.
Problems arose when the woman’s former husband said he did not want his ex to have children of whom he would be the biological father. He went to court, citing a contract he and his former wife had signed, agreeing that they would donate the embryos if they were no longer a couple and did not both consent to one or the other unfreezing the embryos to birth children. The judge in the initial court hearing ruled in favor of the woman.
An appellate judge overturned the ruling. The case ultimately made its way to a state supreme court, and the judge there ruled that the terms of the initial contract would be legally enforced. The embryos must be donated because the parents do not both consent to having children.
This is certainly a sensitive divorce issue that prompted strong emotions on both sides. It shows the importance of wording in a contract or prenuptial agreement as well. Any man or woman in Virginia who is struggling to resolve an emotionally charged issue may wish to schedule a private meeting with an experienced family law attorney who understands how to handle such topics in court.