Who Owns Frozen Embryos?

December 30, 2011
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In 2004, a Chester County, Pa., woman and her husband had some embryos frozen shortly before the woman underwent chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and nearly three years before the husband filed for divorce, which isn’t finalized.

The woman, Andrea Reiss, now wants to use the embryos to have children. Her husband, Bret Reber, says the embryos should be destroyed…

In 2004, a Chester County, Pa., woman and her husband had some embryos frozen shortly before the woman underwent chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and nearly three years before the husband filed for divorce, which isn’t finalized.

The woman, Andrea Reiss, now wants to use the embryos to have children. Her husband, Bret Reber, says the embryos should be destroyed…

In court papers, Mr. Reber argued he never intended to have children with Ms. Reiss, and that the couple created the embryos shortly after Ms. Reiss was diagnosed with cancer only as a “safeguard” in the event he changed his mind… But Ms. Reiss’s arguments moved Chester County Judge David Bortner. In his ruling, the judge found that without use of the embryos, Ms. Reiss wouldn’t be able to bear children, that adoption wasn’t a “comparable alternative” for her, and that the couple never made use of the embryos contingent upon them staying together.

Full article on who controls embryo rights when a couple breaks up.