Judge Rules Girlfriend Can Keep Her Frozen Embryos, Ex-Boyfriend Wanted to Destroy Her Children

Bioethics   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Jun 15, 2015   |   6:28PM   |   Chicago, IL

In Chicago, a judge has sided against a man who wanted frozen embryos he created with his former girlfriend destroyed. The embryos are in the custody of Karla Dunston, who was diagnosed with lymphoma four years ago. Dunston and then boyfriend, Jacob Szanfranski, agreed to create embryos together after finding out chemotherapy would cause her to become infertile.

Szafranski said, “We were in a romantic relationship and we had known each other for awhile, and of course I was concerned about supporting her in whatever way I could.”

However, the couple broke up a year later and now Szafranski wants the embryos destroyed.

He said, “In reading the consent and deciding to go ahead with everything, I really thought that was what my understanding of the situation was, that my consent was needed at the time of their use. Life changes, your feelings on things changes, your position on the world changes.”

As LifeNews previously reported, embryos are usually discarded when they are no longer wanted, have passed their storage limit or carry a faulty gene that causes an inherited disease. In fact, in 2011 study in the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine revealed that 19% of unused embryos are discarded and 3% are donated for scientific research.

According to NBC Chicago, the judge ruled in Dunston’s favor and said that her “desire to have a biological child in the face of the impossibility of having one without using the embryos outweighs Jacob’s privacy concerns, which are now moot.” Afterwards, the woman’s attorney, Abram Moore, said that Dunston would not be looking to Szafranski for financial support.

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He said, “She simply does not want him to stand in the way of her very last chance to have her own biological children.”

Szafranski’s lawyer, Brian A. Schroeder, responded and said, “This case concerns life itself, and whether you can create it and under what circumstances.”

However, the truth of the matter is Szafranski and Dunston have already created life together even though they are no longer seeing each other. Szafranski concluded, “This is not the way that I would even think that I would want my child brought into this world, against my will.”

In April, Nick Loeb filed a lawsuit against Modern Family actress, Sofia Vergara, in an attempt to stop her from destroying a pair of frozen embryos they created while they were engaged. In May 2014, the couple broke off their engagement after four years of dating. A source close to Loeb explained that he didn’t want to see the embryos destroyed because he’s always believed that life begins at conception. The couple created the embryos through in vitro fertilization.

Then in an interview with radio personality, Howard Stern, Vergara explained that she wants the embryos destroyed because she and Loeb signed a contract that stated that the embryos could be implanted into a surrogate only if they both agreed.

Vergara said, “I totally understand him. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is law. You signed legal papers. If it was serious for him, this issue — which I totally respect is for someone — he should have taken it more seriously. There is a contract…Even if it’s life or not life, that’s not what he signed!”

Loeb adamantly disagreed and penned an article in the New York Times concerning the dispute.

He said, “When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property? I asked her to let me have the embryos, offering to pay for all expenses to carry our girls to term and raise them. If she did not wish to share custody, I would take on full parenting responsibilities and agree to have her declared an egg donor. She has refused.”