Modern Family: Sofia Vergara and Fertility Agreements

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Assisted Reproductive Technology on Monday, April 20, 2015.

There has been a big increase in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In Vitro fertilization and other ART now accounts for 3 of every 100 children born here. Without an agreement though, the modern family can end up in court.

Consider the legal battle actress Sofia Vergara is waging with ex-fiancé Nick Loeb over frozen embryos. Sofia Vergara’s former fiancé has filed a lawsuit in California to stop her from destroying a pair of frozen embryos created while they were engaged.

The ex-fiancé filed the lawsuit after the two broke up for good in an attempt to save two cryo-preserved female embryos created through in vitro fertilization.

“He is trying to save two female embryos from destruction,” a source close to Loeb said.

According to court documents, Loeb, sued Vergara last August to “ensure that the female embryos” are kept safe, because Vergara “refuses to agree to their preservation under all circumstances.” The suit also names as a defendant the clinic where the embryos are being held, the Art Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills.

At the time of undergoing fertility, people should not only sign agreements but think about this really carefully. The options are: Do you want the embryos destroyed? Do you want to divide them between the two of you? Do you want to donate them to research? It’s important to think about that when you and your partner get along.

Most clinics use consent forms that require both patient and a partner to answer specific questions about what to do if the couple splits up or one of them dies, experts say.

In Loeb and Vergara’s situation, they answered questions about what should happen in the case of one or both of their deaths, but not separation, according to court documents.

I’ve written about this before. Florida has set itself apart from other states as a haven for ART. Our laws make the process less prone to legal problems. Some states and countries ban these practices altogether.

Florida is very advanced in this area of law, and is one of the few states that permits intended parents to establish the parental status to a child born through assisted reproduction without a paternity/adoption process.

However, Florida statutes make detailed provisions that must be followed for a contract for it to be enforceable. If you’re thinking of slapping together a “do it yourselfer” contract, think again, you could face legal risks.

The CNN article is here.