In a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was determined that approximately six percent of all women in the United States suffer from infertility. The statistics are thought to be about the same for men. What do these couples do when they cannot conceive? Some attempt in vitro fertilization (IVF). Others turn to adoption. Still others participate in what is now being deemed a “snowflake adoption,” or frozen embryo adoption. Unfortunately, many are learning there are many legal complexities to this type of adoption – some for which there are very few answers. The following may be able to help.
Embryo Adoptions Still Exist in a Legal Vacuum
The biggest issue with embryo adoptions is that they exist in a sort of legal vacuum, meaning there is a lack of legal information available. What is there is often conflicting. For example, divorce treats embryos as property, not people. Yet there are other laws, like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, that treat unborn fetuses more like humans. Designed to protect unborn children from assault and/or murder, this act allows victims of assault crimes the right to charge perpetrators if the life of their baby is lost or otherwise compromised.
Currently Treated as a Hybrid Adoption
Embryo adoption is currently being treated as a sort of hybrid situation. On one hand, you have the biological parents, which may simply wish to donate the embryos and never have contact, or that may want a more “open adoption” agreement. Then you have the implanting parents who may be subject to background checks and home studies, despite adopting only embryos that may or may not become humans.
Then there are still questions as to what might happen if the biological parents lose a child, perhaps due to a serious illness or accident, and then suddenly decide they want the child they created but did not birth. Do the birthing parents have any rights? What if the biological parents end up having the child and then learn it is to be born with a genetic condition like Downs syndrome. Does the decision of abortion lie solely in their hands, or do the biological parents have a say? No one really knows. Yet there are ways that birthing parents can protect themselves during this complex and confusing process.
How Our Naperville Family Law Attorneys Can Help
If you and your partner are considering embryo adoption, contact Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. for assistance. Familiar with the process of adoption and well-versed on current laws that pertain to embryos, we can help you navigate the scary but exciting process of embryo adoption. To learn more, schedule a consultation with our compassionate Naperville family law attorneys. Call 630-665-7676 today.