On Demand

Disposition of Cryopreserved Embryos: Now That You Have Them, Can You Use Them?


Created on August 22, 2016




For some women having a child is the single most important issue they face as adults. Each year thousands of women rely on the medical technology, including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), which provides them with the opportunity to have a child. As a result of IVF there are over six hundred thousand embryos being cryopreserved in the United States. Where the embryos were created using the gametes of the woman's partner or spouse, and that relationship disrupts, the legal obstacles that prevent her from using the embryos to have a child may be her biggest challenge yet, even when the embryos represent the woman's only opportunity to have a genetically related child.

This course is presented by Nina Rumbold & Denise Seidelman, partners in the law firm of Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP which concentrates in reproductive law, together with Joni Mantell, LCSW, a psychotherapist and the Executive Director of the Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss IVF, including the reasons women rely on it to preserve their fertility as well as the emotional dimensions of creating embryos
  2. Describe the documentation signed at medical clinics relating to the disposition of embryos and why it is inadequate to protect the respective interests of the participants
  3. Address the legal issues arising with respect to the disposition of cryopreserved embryos
  4. Identify the varying and inconsistent approaches courts and legislatures take to resolve legal disputes relating to the disposition of embryos
  5. Recognize potential legislative solutions
  6. Understand what attorneys can do to guide their clients through this confusing and emotionally challenging legal landscape

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