Connecticut court rules in favor of wife who wants to destroy frozen embryo that her ex-husband wants to keep
- Jessica Bilbao and Timothy R. Goodwin froze the embryos before their 2016 split
- They already have eight kids between them; she has two and he has five from previous relationships and they have a daughter together
- Their daughter was conceived via IVF and was one of two embryos they froze
- Now, Goodwin wants to save the other one and bring it to term
- The couple had signed an agreement that in the event of a divorce, they would be destroyed
- However Goodwin changed his mind during the course of their separation
- He said he wanted them to be kept viable in case they reconciled or that if they didn’t, they should be given to a childless couple
- The Connecticut Supreme Court enforced the couple’s pre-divorce agreement
- It did not rule on the issue of whether the embryos are considered living
Connecticut’s Supreme Court has ruled that a woman can destroy frozen embryos that her ex-husband wants to donate.
Jessica Bilbao and Timothy R. Goodwin have been fighting over what to do with their frozen embryos, which are being stored by a fertility clinic, since their 2016 divorce.
The pair have eight children between them.
From previous relationships, she has two sons and he has two daughters and two sons. They also have a daughter together who was conceived through IVF.
The daughter was one of two embryos the pair froze and the other remains in a fertility clinic in Connecticut.
The pair signed an agreement when they froze them which stipulated that in the event of a divorce, the embryos would be destroyed.
But Goodwin changed his mind while the pair were separating, according to The Hartford Courant.
He now thinks of them as human beings and wants them to kept viable in case the pair ever reconcile. If they do not, he says they should be donated to a childless couple.
The court however sided with his wife and enforced the agreement the pair signed.
It did not rule on the issue of whether or not the embryos should be considered human lives.
Justice Gregory T. D’Auria wrote in his unanimous decision: ‘Because we conclude that the parties in this case had an enforceable agreement, we do not decide what a court must do in the absence of an enforceable agreement.
‘For example, we leave for another day whether, in the absence of an enforceable agreement, balancing or contemporaneous mutual consent is the appropriate approach, and what the details of such an approach would entail.’
A lower court had earlier thrown out the agreement and given custody of the embryos to Bilbao.
Goodwin appealed it, taking it to the state’s highest court.