Sofia Vergara and former fiancé Nick Loeb are fighting over who gets control over their frozen embryos. The two female embryos are being held in a fertility center in Beverly Hills as the couple battles for control. When the Loeb and Vergara were engaged they made a conscientious to use a gestational surrogate and in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have a baby.
Their initial efforts with two embryos did not implant successfully in the woman they chose to carry the baby for them. The first embryo implanted did not take; the second time, the surrogate miscarried. The next attempt created two embryos but the couple separated before the embryos could be implanted into a different surrogate. This is what opened the door to the current issue the couple faces today with their frozen embryos.
Scientifically and legally, a frozen embryo is not the same as a living child. Even if people disagree with that statement, there is no definitive way to describe the kind of decision the prospective parents are trying to make. Loeb desperately wants to be a father, while Vergara adamantly does not want to co-parent children with her ex-fiancé.
Loeb stated the embryos were created for the purpose of life and finds it difficult to believe they are being treated as property. He has agreed to take on all parental responsibilities of the children should Vergara agree to allow them to live. She refused and prefers to keep the embryos frozen. Loeb said keeping his daughters frozen is the equivalent of killing them.
Reproductive technologies have increased possibilities for people who have problems giving birth to their own biological children. Procedures such as donor sperm, eggs, in vitro fertilization and surrogates have opened a new battle when it comes to defining parental and reproductive rights as well as defining life and ownership. Since the couple’s embryos are frozen, or unborn, they are looked at in some states within the USA as property and not as life.
Although a contract was drawn between the couple as it relates to the embryos, not every contingency was planned. The disagreement the couple now faces is the reason Loeb is suing Vergara. Does father know best? He believes his voice and desire in this matter should be taken into account as he works tirelessly to save the life of his daughters. The relationship between Vergara and Loeb has died, but should the embryos die too?
Vergara believes they should remain frozen, and she has no desire for a child with Nick Loeb. According to her attorney, she has never said the embryos should be destroyed. Loeb has said he will do whatever is necessary to safeguard the embryos and allow them the chance to live. He is emotionally invested in the embryos and believes life begins at the point of conception. Loeb is pro-life and takes the responsibility and obligation of being a parent very seriously.
If this case actually makes it to court, there are a number of groundbreaking issues that must be considered in the process. When does life begin? Are these embryos alive? Are they human beings or property? There are many ideals which will need to be challenged and defined in order to make a concrete decision in this case.
Loeb and his attorney believes “father knows best” and are ready to go head-to-head with Vergara’s defense team for a victory. Perhaps, they will come to some type of agreement as it relates to the contract the couple put in place. If not, this case will surely shed light on what needs to happen moving forward with new opportunities to bring life into the world. For now, the two embryos remain frozen in a Beverly Hills fertility center.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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