Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Frozen embryos may provide same-sex spouses with their own child

While freezing embryos remain the subject of many debates about the ethics of this practice, it provides many couples with an opportunity to have a child of their own when they have not been able to otherwise. Many women who cannot conceive a child yearn for the experience of carrying and giving birth to a baby. Same-sex spouses in Massachusetts who want to start a family may also want to consider this option.

When couples undergo In Vitro Fertilization treatment, they often have unused embryos that are commonly frozen. In some cases, the couple does not want to use these extra embryos, and they may donate them for adoption. It is reported that more than a million frozen embryos may exist nationwide. One woman revealed how she gave birth to a baby girl that had actually been conceived seven years earlier, and the embryo had been kept on ice during that time.

Federal statistics show that there are approximately 6.7 million infertile women in the United States. In addition, there may be thousands of gay couples who may want to use frozen embryos and a surrogate mother to provide themselves with a child. Similarly, lesbian women may choose to be artificially fertilized with a frozen embryo in order to carry their own baby to birth. A way to provide life to any of the thousands of frozen embryos that exist is through adoption.

However, the legalities related to frozen embryo adoption could prove to be complicated. In addition to the rights of the adopting couple, whether it is same-sex spouses or a heterosexual couple, the biological parents also have rights. Massachusetts couples that are considering frozen embryo adoption may benefit from consulting with a family law attorney who is experienced in traditional family law and laws related to same-sex marriages. With proper legal guidance and support, any couple yearning for a child of their own may have their wishes come true. More information about same-sex family law is available on our website.

Source:, "Frozen embryo adoption is becoming a 'thing'", Kristina Sauerwein, Nov. 20, 2014

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