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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

California Woman Not Allowed to Keep Frozen Embryos After Divorce 12-11-2015

California Woman Not Allowed to Keep Frozen Embryos After Divorce

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo has denied California woman, Mimi Lee, the right to keep frozen embryos after her divorce from husband.

California woman Mimi Lee and her ex-husband Stephen Findley decided to cryogenically freeze five embryos before they were married. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lee knew it would be risky to become pregnant. That is why she and her ex took precautions to freeze their embryos. However, at the time, both parties agreed to discard the embryos in case the two dissolved their marriage.

Unfortunately, Lee and Findley did obtain a divorce. After the split, Lee wanted to keep the embryos, claiming that this could possibly be her only chance to have genetic children of her own. Findley, on the other hand, wanted to discard the embryos. According to the ruling, he did not want Lee to take financial advantage of him, in terms of child support.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo ruled in favor of the ex-husband and denied Lee access to the embryos, which are kept at the University of California, San Francisco. Massullo asserted that the couple had signed an agreement on what happened to the embryos at the time of creation and said the contract should be upheld. She clarified that

Decisions about family and children often are difficult, and can be wrenching when they become disputes. The policy best suited to ensuring that these disputes are resolved in a clear-eyed manner ... is to give effect to the intentions of the parties at the time of the decision at issue.

This is one of the first cases where the judge ruled in favor of the ex-husband. In similar cases in Pennsylvania and Illinois, the judge ruled in favor of the woman.

At James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys, we understand that divorce can be complicated. If you are seeking a dissolution of marriage, contact our San Bernardino divorce attorneys. We can help fight for your rights and will prioritize your needs. Call today for a free consultation!

Categories: Divorce Law, Divorce

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