The two daughters of actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiance Nick Loeb filed a lawsuit this week to ask a court to grant them a right to live.
The girls, Emma and Isabella, are embryos who were created through in vitro fertilization before the couple split. The lawsuit, filed in Louisiana this week, lists the two as plaintiffs in the case, according to Page Six.
In a high profile legal battle, Vergara and Loeb have been sparring over the fate of the two frozen embryos – their daughters. Though the girls are in the earliest stages of life, they are already human beings who have their own unique DNA.
Loeb wants the girls to have a chance to live, while the “Modern Family” actress wants them to remain frozen or be destroyed. A source close to Loeb explained that he didn’t want to see the embryos destroyed because he believes that life begins at conception.
The potentially landmark new case in Louisiana — a traditionally pro-life state that offers special legal protections for frozen embryos — also lists the embryos’ “trustee,’’ James Carbonnet, as a plaintiff, sources said.
The new lawsuit contends that Emma and Isabella, by not being born, have been deprived of an inheritance from a trust that has been created for them in Louisiana, according to sources.
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It asks that the frozen embryos be given to Loeb so that they can live and receive the trust set up for them, which would fund, among other things, their health care and education, sources said.
The lawsuit also contends that a contract Vergara and Loeb previously signed at the ART Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills should be voided since it violated California code and Louisiana law, according to sources.
The contract said neither party could use the embryos without the consent of the other. But the lawsuit argues that it didn’t say what should happen if Loeb and Vergara were to split.
The lawsuit also argues that Vergara’s parental rights should be terminated, and Loeb given full custody of the girls, according to the report. Sources told the news outlet that he would like to have them implanted into a surrogate mother.
According to the lawsuit, Vergara, who says she is Catholic, previously told Loeb that she believed the embryos should never be destroyed. The suit claims she broke that oral agreement with him.
The court papers also indicate that Loeb dropped his lawsuit against Vergara on Tuesday. The move came after a California judge ruled that Vergara’s legal team could force Loeb to reveal the identity of two previous girlfriends who aborted their unborn babies with Loeb, according to the report.
In an email to Catholic commentator Matt C. Abbott, Loeb previously explained why he does not want to reveal the women’s names: “Could you imagine if you had moved on with your life, gotten married, had children and kept this a secret from your family – then, all of a sudden, 15 years later, you’re made to reveal your abortion to the world? Maybe your parents never knew; maybe your husband never knew, nor your children.”
Abram Moore, counsel for Loeb, told Abbott that the abortions caused Loeb “considerable duress-after-the-fact, and contributed to the development of his firm pro-life beliefs.”
Vergara’s lawyers said she wants the embryos to be “frozen indefinitely.” She also previously said she believes children should be the product of a loving relationship.
“A child needs a mother and a loving relationship with parents that get along, that don’t hate each other . . . Kids need parents,” Vergara said.
However, Loeb said he previously told Vergara that he would take the embryos, pay all the expenses and raise the girls himself, but she refused.