Divorced couple's fight over fertilized embryos lands in Supreme Court

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 09:20:20-05

DENVER (KMGH/CNN) - Mandy and Drake Rooks married in 2002. They went to a fertility clinic to have multiple embryos cryogenically frozen but didn't specify what happened to them.

That is how their case ended up at in the Colorado Supreme Court.

According to Drake’s attorney, James Giese, the couple signed the boxes that said, "If we actually get divorced, we want the court to decide for us."

Mandy Rook’s attorney, Katayoun Donnelly, argued that Drake Rooks had given up his parental rights and was not financially responsible for any future children.

 "Mrs. Rooks has a constitutionally protected right," Donnelly said.

She likened the in vitro procedure to conceiving naturally and said the father made his decision when the eggs were fertilized, according to Donnelly.

The court brief sites a similar case in Massachusetts, which involved a signed form stating if the parties separated, the embryos would return to the mother.

In that case the court did not want to compel a person to become a parent against their will stating, "Forced procreation is not an area amendable to judicial enforcement.

It remains to be seen if the Colorado Supreme Court agrees with Massachusetts and how it will rule. 

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