Connecticut Court Rules Against Husband in Frozen-Embryo Divorce Case
HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court sidestepped the question of when life begins Wednesday when it ruled in a divorce case that previously frozen embryos a couple had created during their marriage are marital property and can be destroyed over the husband’s objection.
The court decided that an agreement the couple made prior to creating the embryos — an agreement that provided for destruction of the embryos in the event of divorce — was an enforceable contact between Jessica Bilbao and Timothy R. Goodwin.
In its decision, the court referred to “pre-embryos.”
Goodwin asserted during the couple’s divorce in 2016 that he had changed his mind. He wanted to preserve the embryos so he and Bilboa could have children, should they reconcile. In the alternative, he said he wanted the embryos to be donated so another couple could have a child or children.
The lower court hearing the divorce ruled that the agreement was not a valid, enforceable contract, but awarded the embryos to Bilboa on the finding that she had a stronger claim than her soon-to-be ex-husband.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Gregory T. D’Auria, reversed the lower court, saying the agreement the couple had signed with the reproductive services center responsible for cryopreserving the embryos was enforceable.
How such a dispute would be decided in the absence of an agreement, a dispute that could address questions about the origins of life, are preserved for “another day,” the court said.
“ … Because we conclude that the parties in this case had an enforceable agreement, we do not decide what a court must do in the absence of an enforceable agreement,” the court held. “For example, we leave for another day whether, in the absence of an enforceable agreement, balancing or contemporaneous mutual consent is the appropriate approach, and what the details of such an approach would entail.”
©2019 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
In The News
WASHINGTON - Reps. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa. are the latest members of Congress to test positive for the coronavirus. The representative from Charleston had already been in self-quarantine after learning from the attending physician of the House that he'd been in contact with... Read More
Less than a week after Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo approved a board of elections request to move the state's presidential primary from April 28 to June 2, a plan to have a mostly mail-in election in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak is already taking... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package in what had to be record time on Friday, speedily sending the bill on to the White House for the president's signature. “This will deliver urgently needed relief," President Donald Trump said... Read More
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Here in the Estelle prison unit, most of the male inmates in the geriatric dormitory first ran afoul of the law years or even decades ago, convicted of crimes ranging from murder and sex offenses to forgery and repeat DWIs. Today, any outward... Read More
LEXINGTON, Ky. — We knew the internet was thirsty for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. Now it’s sending its best trade proposals to nab him. Like NBA teams that feel like they’re one superstar trade away from being a contender, envious citizens from around the country have... Read More
WASHINGTON — For the past few weeks, John Dearie, the founder of the nonprofit Center for American Entrepreneurship, has clung to a dream. His handpicked co-chair of the Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus, Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, might become the next vice president of the United States. In... Read More