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The division of frozen embryos in a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2023 | blog, Divorce |

In the modern world, advances in medical technology have introduced new complexities to divorce proceedings. One of these issues is the division of frozen embryos. In Texas, this is a particularly challenging subject due to the moral, ethical and legal considerations involved.

If you find yourself navigating a divorce in Texas and dealing with the question of frozen embryos, understanding the state’s stance on this issue is important.

Agreements made at the time of freezing

In many cases, the way the courts handle the frozen embryos in a Texas divorce hinges on the agreement you and your spouse made when you froze the embryos. Often, fertility clinics require couples to sign an agreement outlining what should happen to the embryos under different circumstances, including divorce. The options typically included in the contract are:

  • Destroying the embryos
  • Donating the embryos for medical research
  • Donating the embryos to a clinic for another person or couple to use
  • Specifying one spouse as the owner of the embryos

Texas courts usually respect these agreements, provided they are clear and were voluntarily signed by both parties.

When there is no agreement

If there is no agreement, or the agreement is unclear, the division of frozen embryos becomes more complex. Unlike many states, Texas does not have a specific law addressing the division of frozen embryos in a divorce. Therefore, courts will need to consider the interests of both parties. This means considering each spouse’s reasons for wanting to keep or dispose of the embryos. Factors considered may include each party’s ability to conceive naturally, their desires to become parents and their religious or ethical beliefs about the embryos.

As you navigate through this delicate issue, it is important to understand what Texas law says and the key factors that the courts consider.