Arizona Governor Signs Bill To Change Laws Concerning Frozen Embryos

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 9:24am
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 9:25am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law a measure that over rules any contract a couple signs about what happens to their frozen embryos should they divorce.

Now, the spouse who vows to bring the embryos to birth will get them, even if the other spouse does not want to be a parent. Cathi Herrod is president of the Center for Arizona Policy. She says the new law gives the court guidance on how to award the embryos when there’s a dispute.

"Just like a judge will decide when there are disputes over property, disputes over who gets the family dog — now who gets the family embryos will also be decided by a judge according to the law," said Herrod.

The parent who forfeits their rights to the embryo would have no financial responsibility or legal rights to the resulting child. The case originated with a woman named Ruby Torres. Before undergoing cancer treatment, she and her husband created embryos but later divorced.

A Superior Court judge ordered the embryos to be donated to a fertility bank or another couple, noting that Arizona law was silent on the issue, until now.

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