Saturday, June 23, 2007

Texas Frozen Embryo Custody Case to be Appealed

This interesting case, reported at Fox News:

AUSTIN, Texas — She got the house and he got the Honda. The problem in Augusta and Randy Roman's divorce came over the little things -- the really little things. Frozen embryos that they once hoped would bring them children. Augusta Roman wants to keep the embryos and try to have a baby. Randy Roman wants them destroyed, or at least kept frozen.

The case of Roman vs. Roman now before the Texas Supreme Court pits her right to have children using the embryos against his right not to have children.

"These are my children," said Augusta, 45. "This is my last chance at being a biological mom."

...A Houston trial court ordered the embryos turned over to Augusta. Randy appealed and won. The case is now before the state Supreme Court, but arguments have not yet been scheduled.

A key piece of evidence is a consent form both signed on March 27, 2002, that said the embryos would be discarded in the case of divorce.

Randy argues the form is binding. Augusta's attorney, Becky Reitz, says Augusta signed it believing she would get to try embryo implantation at least once.

So far, six states and the European Court of Human Rights have ruled in similar embryo custody battles. They have generally upheld the rights of the ex-spouse who does not want to procreate, said David Meyer, a law professor at the University of Illinois and expert in family and constitutional law.

But because such issues are still relatively new, a court may find a way to rule for the person who wants the child. "The law is really still developing," Meyer said.

(h/t -Sandra Bekhor for pointing me to this story)
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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