For many couples who have fought to get pregnant, fertility treatment is a miracle worker. Assisted reproductive technology is as costly financially as it is emotionally. Failure can bring some relationships to the breaking point. When it comes to diving assets, after all is said and done, one Glenwood Springs couple is facing an unexpected dilemma in their divorce proceedings. After separating almost everything that made up their life as a married couple, the dispute arose when it could not be determined whom the recipient of the contents within a particular freezer would be.
The pair is not quarreling over the freezer per se; it is what is inside that counts. Six embryos left over from when the couple was going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments are at the center of the heated battle. Mom wants more children and dad is done having kids, especially with his ex. Although the pair has three biological children thanks to the repeated IVF cycles, the problem of what should happen to the fertilized eggs remains. When both parties created the embryos; who has the right to custody?
Women have the right not to be a gestational parent just as both genders do when the issue is genetic parenthood. Using the 14th Amendment as a guide, some argue that the rights of individuals to decide to have a child includes the right to not. Constitutionally there is no way to oblige someone into becoming a parent. The other side of the argument asserts that the embryos are not just eggs, but people and that what is at stake is the preservation or termination of a life.
Custody of embryos and whether they should be discarded or brought to term is an argument that looks different for each couple. Even though the outcome is uncertain in these types of cases, there is one thing that remains a constant. The creation of life is a beautiful thing but being forced into parenthood is not.