What Happens to Frozen Embryos During A Divorce

Apr 23, 2021

During a divorce, the spouses may disagree about what should happen to the embryos. One might want to destroy the embryos to avoid custody or child support issues, while the other wants to keep them. However, what if both spouses want the embryos? Regardless of the situation, determining what will happen to embryos can be a complex decision that can lead to an incredibly emotional dispute and a legal battle. In that case, you will need to speak with a divorce lawyer Brooklyn located to know your rights under the law.

The Embryo Transfer

The transfer of frozen embryos can only be done in the presence of both spouses. In the event of separation of the couple through divorce or death, the frozen embryos cannot be transferred. If there has been no pregnancy after IVF, the frozen embryos are transferred within six months, either during a spontaneous cycle or during an artificial cycle. Couples are asked to notify the IVF center of any change of address and family situation. The request for the preservation of embryos must be renewed in writing each year. Brooklyn divorce lawyers know the procedures associated with IVF and embryos and will walk you through the process.

The Possibilities

For legal purposes, the parents will usually decide what to do before freezing the embryos and sign a consent on the destination. After two years, they must revoke or modify the destination. If this is not done, after four years, they become the property of the assisted reproduction center.

The law offers four possibilities:

  1. Its use by the spouses
  2. Donation for reproductive purposes
  3. Donation for research purposes
  4. The cessation of its conservation without other use

In case of divorce, it will be necessary to study what destination, they agreed and signed for their embryos and this can be done with the help of a Brighton Beach divorce lawyer. The consent to giving the pre-embryos or gametes any of these destinations may be modified at any time, always with mutual consent.


It can be difficult, but couples should create a legal agreement that outlines their wishes of what should happen to the embryos in the event of divorce or separation. Divorce is stressful enough already and determining these issues can be even more so. However, having a legal agreement written up by Levitsky Law Firm, couples will be seamlessly guided and it can help make these problems significantly easier in the event of a divorce.