Typically, cases addressing the issue of paternal rights in St. Charles involve a father fighting for his rights to continue to have a relationship with his children. Yet do paternal rights extend to man’s right not to want to have a child? Advances in reproductive technology made in recent years have also given rise to cases where separated couples who were once dealing with fertility issues are now battling over the right to use frozen embryos. Rulings in such cases have tended to vary given that there currently is no legal precedent set as a standard to apply to such cases.
Some believe that may soon change (at least in Colorado), as a divorced couple has taken their fight to that state’s Supreme Court. The in-vitro fertilization process that resulted in the couple’s three children also produced six embryos that were frozen for later use. Now, the man is saying that he does not want more children and would like the embryos destroyed. Thus far, court officials have agreed with his assertion that his right not to have children supersedes the woman’s desire to use the embryos. However, her attorney is citing the landmark decision made in the Roe vs. Wade case that states that women have the right to have a baby even when the men involved does not wish to be fathers. To this point, this right has not been recognized as extending to cases where the woman is arguing for the right to have children in the future.
As technology continues to offer new methods through which a man and woman can conceive, complex custody cases such as this one are likely to follow. Those needing to fight for their rights in such cases may be wise to seek the services of an experienced attorney.
Source: ABC News “Divorced couple take their fight over frozen embryos to Colo. Supreme Court” Fies, Andrew, Jan. 10, 2018