Connecticut Court Rules Against Husband in Frozen-Embryo Divorce Case

Bilbao v. Goodwin, (SC 20078) (Conn. Nov. 5, 2019)

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that an agreement between a husband and wife executed prior to their divorce is enforceable. The dispute was regarding an Agreement between the husband and wife, coordinated through their fertility clinic, which specified that their jointly owned embryos could be discarded should the parties divorce.

The Parties divorced after entering into this agreement, and the husband claimed the agreement was unenforceable as it violated public policy based on his assertion that embryos are human beings. 

Though the lower court ruled in the husband’s favor, the Connecticut  Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s ruling and held  that the agreement was enforceable, since both parties initialed and signed it, and the husband did not submit any evidence to support his claims.

This case provides a good reason why people who are undergoing infertility treatment with another person should carefully consider and negotiate the terms of an agreement regarding the disposition of the jointly owned gametes and/or embryos.

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