Court in Illinois Awards Custody of Embryos

On May 16, A Cook County, Illinois judge awarded custody of frozen embryos to a Chicago woman despite her ex-boyfriend's objection and the lack of a written agreement between the parties. The woman, a doctor in Chicago, had been diagnosed with lymphoma at the time her then-boyfriend, a local firefighter/paramedic, agreed to provide sperm to create embryos, as the cancer treatment would leave the woman infertile. 

The parties subsequently separated without having executed a co-parent agreement giving the woman control over the embryos.

Nonetheless, the judge determined that the parties' verbal agreement was enforcable, and the woman's desire to have a child outweighs the ex-boyfriend's desire not to procreate.

The man intends to appeal the decision. 

The decision raises a number of interesting issues related to the rights of individuals related to procreation and parentage, and will be watched by family law attorneys around the United State with interest. 

See the Chicago Tribute article here.

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