Beebe and O'Neil

The Supreme Court orders the destruction of stored embryos

On Oct. 30, Connecticut Supreme Court justices issued a ruling in what's sure to become a landmark case that other judges consider when making decisions in their courtrooms in the future. On that day, the justices ruled that the frozen embryos that the divorcing couple had previously stored would be seen as marital property, and therefore, destroyed. This decision went against the husband's wishes.

The husband and wife first consulted with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine's Center for Advanced Reproductive Services soon after they were married several years back. They both agreed to sign an agreement before any harvesting procedures occurred. In that contract, both the husband and wife outlined how they preferred for the embryos to be destroyed if they divorced.

It wasn't until the couple commenced their divorce proceedings in 2016 that the husband announced that he was no longer in agreement with the embryos being destroyed as he deemed them to be human beings. He expressed an interest in preserving them in case the couple reconciled. He also suggested offering them up to another couple seeking to have children.

A lower court judge concluded that the agreement that the couple had signed was invalid. The embryos were awarded to the wife much like other marital property per state law.

The husband ultimately appealed the case to the Connecticut Supreme Court in an effort to prevent the embryos from being disposed. The justices ultimately overturned the lower court's ruling. They found that the spousal agreement was indeed valid. They ordered for the embryos to be destroyed. This case is unable to be appealed.

Property division and child custody are often some of the most contentious matters that make it difficult for Norwich couples to settle their divorce cases. Resolving such disputes doesn't have to cause you emotional turmoil and stress though. Family law and divorce can help broker a settlement on your behalf that puts your financial future and children's interests first.

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