Family law: Woman given OK to use in vitro embryos

A woman who wanted to use frozen embryos to conceive a child after she divorced from her husband has been given the go-ahead by a judge. These kinds of decisions in British Columbia as well as the rest of the country come under the family law umbrella. The woman's former husband did not agree with her wish, so they woman pursued the legal avenue.

Federal law states that people who create embryos from their sperm and eggs should both have control over those in vitro embryos. The law also states that if one spouse changes his or her mind about the embryos, they should not be used. The Ontario judge who made the ruling, however, set a precedent by overruling the federal law that some say was not a wise move even though neither party has any genetic connection to the embryo since eggs and sperm were purchased from other donors.

The judge gave the woman sole ownership of the embryo as long as she reimbursed her former spouse for his monetary contribution in creating it. Fertility clinics usually get their clients to sign contracts that state what should happen to them if one or both parties change their minds. Judges, however, don't always enforce these contracts.  

Certain issues that are governed by family law in Canada can be murky. When these types of issues arise in British Columbia, getting the advice of a lawyer may be the first order of business. A lawyer will be able to shed light on situations that may seem perplexing and complex.

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