IN 2010 Jacob Szafranski and Karla Dunston decided to undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to create and freeze embryos together. After the couple broke up, Mr Szafranski sued Ms Dunston to prevent her from using their three frozen embryos. Ms Dunston, rendered infertile from chemotherapy treatments, filed a counterclaim seeking sole custody and control over the embryos so that she may one day have children. This month an Illinois state appeals-court affirmed a circuit-court ruling in favour of Ms Dunston. Because the couple never signed a contract specifying who controlled the embryos, the court found Mr Szafranski agreed to allow Ms Dunston to have his child when he provided his sperm to fertilise her egg.
“Had Jacob wanted to preserve his ability to later veto Karla's use of the pre-embryos,” writes Justice Laura Liu, an appellate judge, “the time for expressing that condition was when he accepted Karla's offer. All he would have been required to say is:...Continue reading