How do you think the fertilized embryos should be treated by the courts in family law cases? What do you think of state regulation in this area?

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Your final class Discussion Board deals with yet another cutting issue in Family Law.  A very interesting article appeared in the New York Times a few years ago, written by a man discussing the two fertilized frozen embryos that he had created with his former fiance.  The author asked this key question in the article:  When should fertilized embryos be treated not as property, but as a vehicle to give life?   Specifically he asked – “When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property?”
Now this would be an important topic no matter the couple involved, but in this case the author was previously engaged to actress Sofia Vergara, who is currently on the television show Modern Family. Ms.Vergara wanted the fertilized embryos to remain frozen “indefinitely” according to her lawyers (she is now married to another man) – while her former fiance wanted to have the embryos implanted in a surrogate to see if he will have a biological child carried to term.  He is independently wealthy according to the article, and would want nothing from Ms. Vergara in terms of either supporting or being legally liable for the child should one by born by a surrogate.  Ms. Vergara would of course be the other biological parent of any such child. Ms Vegara’s attorneys eventually got this case dismissed by the court.

How do you think the fertilized embryos should be treated by the courts in family law cases?  What do you think of state regulation in this area? What if the couple signed a contract dealing with this issue before the divorce – should the contract be enforced?

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