Pre-embryos, procured through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), become a source of dispute when couples divorce or separate before using them. Particularly, couples may fight over who has decision-making power to use or not use the frozen pre-embryos for pregnancy. State courts across jurisdictions typically apply one of three categorical approaches: disposition contracts, contemporaneous mutual consent, or a balancing interests test. Each approach fails to provide courts with structures to fully evaluate each party’s interests at the time of dispute and account for inherent sex and gender differences that impact their stakes in the dispute. This Note proposes a modified balancing test that accounts for couples’ changing interests over time and provides defined balancing factors to ensure commensurate weight for sex and gender differences between parties.
Towards an Equitable Review of Pre-Embryo and Divorce Disputes for Women,
Nw. J. L. & Soc. Pol'y.