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What happens to frozen embryos after divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2021 | Divorce |

Alabama couples who are divorcing today face unique hurdles that couples of past generations might not have had to deal with. For example, it is not necessarily uncommon for couples who are trying to conceive a child to use in vitro fertilization — IVF. Frozen embryos may be left over after conceiving a child or when a couple decides to divorce before conceiving. When this happens, the discussion of who gets to keep the embryos can be rife with conflict.

Is there already an agreement?

Creating frozen embryos is not a decision that most couples take lightly. There is often a lot of forethought that goes into this process, and most clinics will have spouses sign an agreement that specifies what will happen to embryos upon a divorce. Some ways that couples choose to handle frozen embryos during a divorce include:

  • Donating to medical research
  • Destroying them
  • Allowing one spouse to decide in the future

However, it is possible that circumstances may change after signing an agreement. What one person believed he or she was comfortable with while part of a happy union might be different than when going through a divorce. Furthermore, one spouse might have become infertile since signing an agreement, leaving the frozen embryos as his or her last chance to have a biological child.

These types of issues can be extremely difficult to address, especially when there is an existing agreement. In general, divorcing couples in Alabama might prefer to follow the terms already set out in the agreement. However, there are situations where someone might prefer to push for a different outcome, especially if circumstances drastically changed between the time the agreement was signed and when the couple decided to file for divorce.