Custody and IVF Issues in Pennsylvania

The first successful use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978 was a game-changer for women struggling with infertility. Because of this monumental technological advancement, couples who experience difficulties with conception now have the option to utilize IVF in hopes of birthing a child. 

During the IVF process, sperm is used to fertilize eggs taken from inside of a woman's body, and then implanted back into the uterus to initiate a pregnancy. It's common for eggs to be fertilized and subsequently frozen for a while until a couple decides to use them. 

Although IVF has been put into practice for over 30 years in the U.S., Pennsylvania legislators, as well as lawmakers in other states, have yet to come up with legislation that directly addresses the unique issues this process rears in child custody cases. What happens when couples have undergone this process, have frozen eggs, but ultimately end up splitting? We'll discuss the specifics.

What is IVF?

IVF is a process in which participants undergo medical treatment and surgical procedures to fertilize an egg outside of the body, and then implant that egg into the uterus. Medication matures the eggs and prepares them for fertilization. Once they're ready, the doctor will take them out of a participant's body and mix them with sperm in a laboratory to prompt fertilization. Next, one of more fertilized eggs, known as “embryos,” will be implanted directly into the participant's uterus. Pregnancy occurs when any of the embryos stick to the lining of the uterus.

IVF has a plethora of steps, as it takes several months to a year to complete the entire process. It could work on the first round or it may take several rounds for a woman to get pregnant. Regardless, this reproductive method does increase a participant's chances of pregnancy. 

Hundreds of U.S. clinics perform thousands of IVF procedures each year. Approximately 50,000 IVF babies have been conceived since reproductive technology's conception. 

How Does IVF Impact Child Custody

One of the most pressing IVF concerns for divorcing or splitting couples is who will become the owner of previously frozen embryos. If one partner decides to implant the egg without the other partner's consent, the other person will be forced into a parental situation against their will. On the other hand, one partner's choice to destroy an embryo could ruin the only chance the other partner had to be a parent. 

While the majority of IVF facilities do encourage couples to enter contracts to prevent impending disposal and preservation issues, these contracts are not always recognized by the courts. 

Another concern for splitting or divorcing couples who've undergone IVF is the categorization of embryos. The matter of whether embryos should be dealt with as property or children has long been in question. 

The only way to make sure you have options in the event you and your partner split, would be to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable of this unique sector of law. A legal professional can identify all the possible legal outcomes of entering an IVF contract before you undergo any procedures. 

Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney

If you have questions about IVF and how it'll impact your PA child custody case, contact the LLF Law Firm today. Our team has insight as to how Pennsylvania courts factor IVF into proceedings and will work hard to ensure your parental rights are protected. For a consultation, contact our firm online or by phone at 888-535-3686 today.

Contact a skilled Family Law Team Today!

The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.