Many Texas residents choose to create and freeze embryos in the hopes of becoming parents at a later date. For some of those individuals, their plans will change due to a breakup or divorce with the other party who contributed genetic material to create the embryos. When only one party wants to use the embryos to have a child, courts across the nation usually side with the party who objects. In one state, a recent law allows the party who wants to bring the embryos to term to do so, even if the other party is strongly opposed.
The new law is provoking debate across the nation. Some who support the law claim that a party who wants to have a child that shares his or her own DNA should be able to do so. Those who oppose the law feel that no one should be forced into parenthood against their will. There is also a fear that this change in approach could be an early step in granting legal “personhood” status to embryos.
The new law clearly states that a party who opposes using frozen embryos to have a child will have no parental rights or obligations. That means that he or she will not be held responsible for financial or other support. However, it’s likely that many would end up having a bond with the child, simply because they would be unable to move on knowing that they have a biological child in the world.
This is difficult matter, because there are strongly held beliefs and emotions on all sides. However, if Texas or other states decide to consider similar legislation, the issue could become a topic of serious debate across the nation. For now, couples who have frozen embryos should carefully outline what will happen to them in the event of a divorce.