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Funny Legal Questions - Elizabeth Unexplained
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Funny Legal Questions
If Warren and I both die, who gets custody of any frozen embryos we might have? This was just one of the many questions we got to spend the morning answering. Another one was what we would do with said theoretical embryos if we were to divorce. I would think it was funny, except that I know people have had huge court battles over these very issues. I'd blame the lawyers, but really I have to blame the unreasonable people who keep those types of lawyers in billable hours. I'm not sure whether I should be amused or appalled.


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enugent From: enugent Date: October 5th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Everyone hates lawyers - until the day they need one. Then they just hate other people's lawyers.
twe From: twe Date: October 6th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure whether to be amused or appalled either, but it does seem unlikely that it is all the fault of the lawyers.
psychohist From: psychohist Date: October 6th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
The custody questions probably make more sense to people who think of the embryos as human beings.

After we left, it occurred to me that we should have found one of these people, then put them down in the "who gets custody of the embryos if we both die" field.
enugent From: enugent Date: October 6th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure about that - you can determine who gets custody of your other personal property (like pets) if you both die, and I don't think anyone's arguing that they are human.

But you could leave them to Snowflakes if you want... :-P
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: October 10th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)


Over my dead body.

The success rates for Frozen Embryo Transfer are not great. You lose a fairly large percentage in the freezing and thawing process, and even then, you have at best a 35% chance of getting a baby on any IVF cycle, and that's assuming you have 2 healthy 8-celled beauties to transfer. I feel sorry for people who have deep religious convictions that an 8-celled embryo is a person. It must be a pretty spiteful deity that they believe in who would kill off so many 'people' at such an early stage.
enugent From: enugent Date: October 10th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snowflakes

I totally agree with you on Snowflakes - just pointing out that maybe Warren's idea wasn't so hot, either.

Best of luck with the next cycle. My cousin's wife (yet another Elizabeth) is pregnant now after transferring two embryos that were definitely not 8-celled beauties, so I hope her luck carries over to you. Do you have to freeze all of them? I know that Elizabeth lost both of her viable ones the first cycle during the freezing/thawing process, and that they didn't freeze the one that "took" at all (or the one that didn't), during her second cycle.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: October 11th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snowflakes

Warren was joking. Margaret gets to figure out what to do with any frozen embryos should we create any and then die horribly.

Thanks for the good wishes. The alternatives really are to freeze the extras or just throw them out. You really don't want to put more than two good looking embryos in, as doing that doesn't increase your chance of getting pregnant at all, it just increases your chance of multiples. Since I don't have a burning desire to be on the front page of the National Enquirer and I do want the slim chance that frozen embryos offer should I need it in the future, we're going to be freezing any extras... assuming there are extras, which I do not for one minute take for granted.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: October 7th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


Embryos are weird. Even if you don't think of them as human, they have the potential to be human. Whoever ends up with the embryos can have them implanted and have your kids.

Which is weird enough, but in a divorce there could be later child support issues if a child is produced. Just a bizarre situation that your ex wife could have your kids 5 years post divorce or some such.

I suppose clearer laws would give the lawyers less to do.
twe From: twe Date: October 10th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Embryos

She's right. I suspect it has much more to do with child support issues than anything else.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: October 10th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Embryos

Actually, child support issues were something that Grace brought up when we were talking about the option of donating leftover embryos. And yes, the lack of laws in the area is an issue.

Ideally, if we have any embryos left over after we're through with all this I'd like to donate them. (Not to the Snowflakes people, though, they're crazed fundies.) Frankly, infertility sucks and if some poor couple wants to make a go of it using donor embryos I'd love to help them if I have the chance. But then Grace pointed out some of the potential pitfalls due to lack of reasonable laws. "You don't want someone showing up on your doorstep with a baby who has problems and expecting you to take it back even though they were the ones who drank every day of the pregnancy." I suspect this is why so many people just keep theirs frozen indefinitely.

enugent From: enugent Date: October 12th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Embryos

My family law professor used to get really worked up about issues like this. According to him, they go directly back to the "best interests of the child" standard that is used for most family law decisions. The fact is, it's always going to be in the best interests of the child to have any random person that they can grab give him some money - that doesn't make it just.
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