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Assisted Reproductive Technology Cries out for Comprehensive Legislation

[2019.12.02, Mon 19:03] Today, some estimate that more than one million frozen embryos are in storage. In Connecticut, ART legislation is limited, and there is no statute governing the disposition of frozen embryos in the event of a divorce. At the trial in their divorce case, Bilbao argued in favor of disposing the embryos as agreed, while Goodwin argued in favor of preserving them. The judge ruled that the clinic consent form was not a binding contract, treated the embryos as property, and awarded them to Goodwin. The court left for another day a number of other thorny questions: whether a contract that requires preservation of the embryos should similarly be enforced; whether the courts should enforce an agreement where there was an abuse of trust in connection with the signing, or unforeseen circumstances had arisen since the agreement was signed; and, what should happen where there is no agreement. In a comprehensive review of the issue in the Journal of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, Deborah L. Forman, then professor of law at Whittier Law School, concluded that clinic consent forms are unsuited for resolving embryo disposition disputes at the time of a divorce. The Model Act covers many aspects of ART law, including informed consent standards, mental health evaluation and counseling, privacy and confidentiality, embryo transfer and disposition, parentage of children born from ART, and surrogacy.
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