An Arizona court recently ruled that a woman wanting to use her ex-husband’s saved sperm to become pregnant “outweigh[ed]” the man’s desire not to become a father. Due to this court ruling, the man could also be liable for 18 years of child support.
In 2014, Ruby Torres was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. She was told that after chemotherapy she likely wouldn’t be able to become pregnant. She and her then-boyfriend John Terrell decided to preserve some embryos so that she might one day be able to become a mother.
The couple would eventually marry but then divorced, The Daily Wire reported.
According to KPRC Radio, During their divorce, it occurred to John that his ex still had his sperm in storage with the embryos so he brought his case to Maricopa County Superior Court and requested they not be used without his consent. That court ruled the embryos should be given to a third party.
Ruby appealed and won on March 14th.
Judge Jennifer B. Campbell wrote in a 2-1 decision overturning the lower court’s finding, “The trial court erred when it placed heavy weight on the parties’ inability to ‘co-parent. Nothing in the record suggests that either of them expected or intended to co-parent any offspring derived from the embryos.”
But in the dissenting opinion Judge Maria Elena Cruz pointed out how John & Ruby signed a contract five years earlier when they preserved the embryos in which both parents agreed they would provide “express, written consent” for the DNA to be used.
The case might seem like a unique circumstance, but Arizona legislators took up the debate last year and passed a law motivated by Torres’ case.
State law now requires that viable embryos from a divorced couple be awarded to the parent who will allow a child to be born. Italso states the other parent has no rights or obligations.
Campbell wrote that the law wasn’t a factor in the ruling because it didn’t exist at the time of the trial court decision.
And because that state law isn’t applicable in this case, Terrell could end up having to pay child support if Torres gives birth to a child. Torres testified that Terrell could decide if he wants to be involved in the child’s life.
“It is, of course, true that if Torres were awarded the embryos, Terrell could be legally responsible to financially support the children,” the ruling states. “That reality is the same today as it was when the parties executed the (in vitro fertilization) agreement nearly four years ago.”
Is this the new phase of ‘women’s right’? No rights at all for the fellas? Let us know what you think in the comments below.