In 2012, a court in the State of Illinois allowed a woman to keep her frozen embryos conceived with her partner’s sperm despite his refusal to consent to the embryos being “used” following the break-down of their relationship.
The woman had become infertile following medical treatment. She and her partner used medically assisted procreation to conceive, but he no longer wished to become a father following their break-up. Despite the absence of any signed parental agreement, the judge deemed that verbal agreement within the partnership was sufficient to decide the fate of these embryos.
The partner appealed to the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois last year and a new hearing has been set. The new case could take 4 to 8 months and could be subject to federal jurisprudence.
According to the partner’s lawyer, “this matter concerns life itself and the circumstances under which it can be created”. In the United States in 1985, 260 children were conceived using medically assisted procreation compared to 61,000 in 2010, based on statistics from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.