Divorcees Forbidden to Use, Donate Frozen Embryos

The New York Court of Appeals ruled that a Long Island woman cannot use eggs fertilized by her former husband without his permission.

The court reaffirmed a contract that Maureen and Steven Kass signed at the time the eggs and sperm were donated, which stated that the fertilized eggs would not be released without written permission from both parties. When Maureen wanted to use the fertilized eggs five years after her divorce, Steven strongly objected because he didn’t want to raise a child with her.

In a separate Tennessee ruling, another divorcee was forbidden to donate eggs fertilized by her ex-husband, stating that the father’s right not to have a child surpassed his wife’s right to donate the embryos.

The New York State legislature may soon hear a bill that would legally predetermine which donor would get custody of frozen embryos in cases of death or divorce.


AP - May 8, 1998

Support eh ERA banner