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09/26/2009

Help an infertile out. Uh, but not like Carolyn Savage did.

Carolyn Savage had a C-section Thursday.  The baby, a healthy boy, was immediately given to his genetic parents, Paul and Shannon Morrell.  The clinic responsible for the mix-up has not yet been named.  Maybe they're waiting till the clinic has a chance to get a new sign painted.  I think the Center for Holy Cats Did We Screw Up Reproductive Medicine has a lovely ring to it, don't you?  Shorter and easier to remember than the Institute for The Savages and Morrells Own Every Catheter, Petri Dish, Pointy-Needled Thingamajig That They Use to Poke Ovaries, and Last Little Glob of Ultrasound Gel Oh And Also If We Need Mention It Our Collective Corporate Asssssses, LLC.

I loved your comments on my previous post about this.  Loved them for your genuine compassion, for how readily you saw the complexities of the situation.  And, I'll admit, felt chagrined by them, because they confirmed my suspicion that about 99% of my readers are better people than I am.  (I humbly thank the other 1% of you miserable bastards.  Without you, I'm nothing.)  Some of you said that if you'd already decided a pregnancy was worth the risk for your own offspring, it would also be worth it for someone else's.  Some of you pointed out that you'd know the other couple were infertile, too, and would therefore feel that much more compelled to nurture an embryo that had certainly been hard to come by.  I really admire those convictions, and wish I shared them.  That I can't makes me feel sort of...small.

But then I think of Savage's medical history.  (I bet when the Morrells learned about it they sat there for a minute and thought, Fuuuuuck.)  I think of my own experience with HELLP and a preterm birth.  And I try to put myself in the Morrells' place.  Would I expect such a person, whose health could well be jeopardized by my embryo, to take that chance?

My answer is an unqualified no, and I'm certain the Morrells' was, too.  Which makes me admire both families that much more.

Hey, speaking of embryos in legal limbo, I have a favor to ask on behalf of a friend.  She writes:

In August 2007, we did a cycle in which 4 extra embryos were frozen as blasts.  We signed a consent that said that in the event of a divorce, the embryos would go to whoever was awarded them pursuant to a settlement agreement or divorce decree.

In November 2007, we started an FET, but 3 days before transfer, my husband suddenly decided that he didn’t want to cycle then, and threatened to divorce me if I continued the cycle, agreeing that we would continue at a better time for him.  I stopped the cycle.

In December 2007, he announced that he wanted a divorce and moved out six days later.  Originally, he agreed that he would give me the embryos, but afterwards decided that he didn’t want to be a father or be liable for child support so he wants them destroyed.  [Apparently child support can't be waived before a child's birth, so even if my friend stipulates that he'd be off the hook, it doesn't carry any legal weight.]  I want them.

Do any of you nice people have experience with the disposition of embryos upon divorce?  Because there's not much legal precedent in this area, she's understandably anxious and could use some perspective.  Please share as much detail as you can, and feel free to comment anonymously.  Any words of wisdom for my friend?

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