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Illinois embryo case treks up and down the judicial ladder

22003900_S.jpgA few years ago, a story like the following might have been considered a novelty, given its focus on frozen embryos and the resulting acrimony over their potential use.

These days, of course, an embryo-related story is far from strange or singular, with a recent New York Times article noting that, "Hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are in storage across the nation."

Essentially, they exist as insurance policies, which was the case for an Illinois woman who asked her now former boyfriend some time back to help create pre-embryos with her. The woman -- a Chicago doctor -- wanted to ensure she could have a child following cancer treatment.

The couple parted ways during her treatment, with a protracted -- and still ongoing -- legal battle now playing out between them over the right to use the embryos.

The ex-boyfriend sought to enjoin any such use through a court order, but the woman prevailed, with the court ruling that her interests in putting the embryos to use were paramount in the matter.

That ruling was reversed on appeal and remanded to the lower court for reconsideration, where the woman again prevailed, the judge ruling that the couple's oral agreement early on to use the embryos was dispositive in the matter.

A state appellate court weighing in recently for a second time sided with the lower court.

The man now vows to appeal the matter to the state's highest court, with some commentators viewing his judicial fight as a classic fathers' rights case involving the decision to procreate.

"No one should be forced into parenthood if that is not something they want," noted the man's attorney recently.

The would-be father is pursuing the matter notwithstanding a promise from the woman that she would never seek support to raise any child conceived from the embryos.

Source: The New York Times, "Chicago court gives woman frozen embryos despite ex-boyfriend's objections," Tamar Lewin, June 12, 2015

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