Modern society offers many options to those who wish to become parents, but are unable to under normal circumstances. The legal issues surrounding these different choices may be difficult to understand. Those who decide to create a family through non-traditional means may be interested in the recent child custody case of an Illinois woman who sought ownership of her frozen embryos at the objection of the father.
The woman in this case was diagnosed with lymphoma several years ago and made the choice to freeze embryos with her boyfriend at the time, since the treatment would negatively affect her fertility. She underwent treatment for her cancer and is now a survivor. Unfortunately, her relationship with her boyfriend ended and no legal document was filed that would give her control of the embryos.
A judge ruled that the woman’s wish to have a biological child should be honored. Full custody of the embryos was awarded to her, despite her former boyfriend’s disagreement. The woman has not asked for any financial support from her ex, nor does she seem to want to require him to be a part of the lives of any children who may be produced from the embryos.
When child custody issues involve less-than-typical circumstances, many people may struggle with trying to make the right decision. No matter the situation, open and honest communication is one of the best means for all parties involved to have their wishes honored. This particular case here in Illinois highlights the importance of detailing custody parameters, including potential financial support and whether both parents intend to have physical custody of the children in question. Hopefully, both parties in this story will eventually be able to move forward with their lives.
Source: CNN Blogs, "Judge rules woman can use embryos despite her ex-boyfriend's wishes", , May 19, 2014