California judge orders destruction of embryos following divorce
California judge orders destruction of embryos following divorce

[JURIST] A California judge on Wednesday ordered [opinion, PDF] the destruction of five embryos following a couple’s divorce. In 2010, Mimi Lee and her former husband Stephen Findley participated in in vitro fertilization (IVF). While participating in IVF, the couple signed an agreement stating that the embryos would be destroyed if they divorced. At the age of 47, Mimi sought court approval to use the embryos. However, the California Superior court upheld the agreement between the couple and ruled for the embryos to be destroyed. Judge Anne-Christine Massullo stated, “[t]he policy best suited to ensuring that these disputes are resolved in a cleareyed manner—unswayed by the turmoil, emotion and accusations that attend to contested proceedings in family court—is to give effect to the intentions of the parties at the time of the decision at issue.”

Advances in reproductive technology have continued to raise legal issues. Last February, UK lawmakers voted in favor [JURIST report] of a law that would make the UK the first country to allow an in IVF technique that uses DNA from two women and one man. Last year the French Court of Cassation ruled [JURIST report] that a woman is allowed to adopt the child of her same-sex spouse conceived through IVF.