Award Custody of Embryos in Their Best Interests

by Wesley J. Smith

The more we remove reproduction from the normal way of having babies, the more complicated things become. Now, a court is to decide what happens to embryos after a couple splits–as if they are mere property. From the UPI story:

An estranged Illinois couple are battling in court over the future of frozen embryos they created before they broke up. Dr. Karla Dunston wants a biological child, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. Her ex-boyfriend, Jacob Szafranski, a nurse, said forcing him into parenthood without consent would violate his rights, even though Dunston has said she does not expect financial help or any other assistance.

I would point out:

  1. That Szafranski is already a father, and indeed, became one with his own active and willing participation;
  2. In such cases the law should require a court to award custody based on the best interests of the embryos–to be born–rather than make the embryos’ fate a matter of contract law; and,
  3. Once embryos come into being they should be treated as nascent human beings. Just as a father could not order his ex to abort upon their split, so too, he should not be allowed to compel the destruction of nascent offspring.

But good grief. What are we doing, folks?