When a Georgia couple decides that it is time to start a family, they may turn to in vitro fertilization in order to conceive a biological child. However, the process can be emotionally draining on many couples, potentially becoming a factor in a split or a divorce. If this happens and the couple still has frozen embryos that were not implanted, they will have to make decisions about what they want to do.
Under the law, frozen embryos are considered to be personal property that belongs to both individuals. However, there is very little protection available for the embryos. When a couple first begins the IVF process, they usually are asked to sign a consent form that determines what they want to do with any embryos they create if they split up or if they die. This consent agreement, however, is often not enforceable in court.
Generally, the court will not force people to become a parent against their will if they do not want to use the embryos to create a child. The exception to this is if this is the last chance for a person to become a biological parent.
Going through a dispute regarding created embryos during a divorce can be emotionally difficult. One problem is that this is not a situation on which there is an abundance of case law precedent. As a result, family law attorneys might suggest to clients who are facing this type of an issue that mediation might be a preferable way of coming to a resolution instead of having a judge make the decision in a vacuum.