These days, so many people of means are using artificial insemination to produce children. To that end, many have gone in for in vitro fertilization and other more complicated scenarios that involve fertilizing eggs outside of the womb.
Maybe chidren are hatched, maybe they are not, but often times what does come about, is a divorce. Once this happens, it raises the difficult question of what to do with these quasi-human life forms. (I don’t mean to offend by using that terminology. I just don’t know how better to put it.) I mean, is it a zygote? I don’t think so. So please don’t be offended when I say quasi life form.
What happens in the event of a divorce, to fertilized eggs? Can one spouse get “custody” over these eggs?
I believe a few states have looked at this issue, and it is one I have to do some research in, quite frankly. Because I don’t know the answer for sure. I can tell you what my hunch is, and it is a strong one. I don’t think either party would get custody of fertilized eggs. I think the judge would order the eggs destroyed.
And why? Well, if the judge allowed only one party to have the eggs and that party used the eggs to have kids, who will be responsible for child support? Who will be the parent? I mean, there are a zillion ethical issues that this scenario raises. But for me, I think it would come down to economics most of all.
I don’t think the court could allow a situation like that because it would force people to be parents, (and cost them big bucks) where they otherwise wouldn’t choose this parenthood. This would infringe on their right to privacy (and the right to procreate, or not to procreate has long been presumed to fall under that umbrella of privacy rights.)
But this is my hunch. Maybe I should research this. It’s an interesting topic and I want to know the answer for sure what the New York court’s position is – if it even has a position.