Hollywood actress Sofia Vergara, largely popular due to her role on a sitcom called Modern Family, used vitro fertilization methods in November 2013 to cryogenically freeze and store two of her embryos for safekeeping. As a woman in her 40s, she and her fiancé, Nick Loeb, were not sure if motherhood would be an option later on and apparently agreed to freeze the embryos just in case. Troubles arose, however, once the engagement was called off and Loeb became an ex-fiancé. Does he still retain some right to the embryos?
According to a lawsuit he filed against her in 2015, he does. Loeb has sued Vergara, not for any monetary profit but just to prevent her from destroying the embryos. Loeb and his attorney believe that since an agreement was used before the vitro fertilization technique, an agreement should be used before destroying them. Rather, he would like her to allow him to implant the embryos in a surrogate mother, who would bring them to term. In Vergara’s defense, the initial agreement states that the embryos would be destroyed if the couple split.
Commenters on the case, which has not been fully resolved yet, see it as a question of whether the embryos represent life or property. Some religious advocates would argue that the embryos are life and that Loeb has some right to his parenthood. Others would see them as property of Vergara, who can keep or destroy them as she pleases. In similar cases that have already closed, the courts have followed the letter of the contract, so it seems that matters are in Vergara’s favor.
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