Custody over Frozen EmbryosThe complex issue of what to do with frozen embryos once you no longer wish to keep them is a new moral and legal dilemma in our country. Fertility clinics help couples freeze additional embryos, in the event that they are needed in the fertility process. But, the number of frozen embryos has grown significantly over the last decade and there is no sign that the growth is going to slow down. Most couples end up with extra embryos, once they have completed the infertility process. Of course, for most, these frozen embryos represent the possibility of another child/children, so this issue of what to do with them hits couples and families on a very intense and emotional level.

What Happens to Extra Frozen Embryos?

When a couple decides that they have completed the fertility process–and frozen embryos are left, what happens to them? The options for most couples are to leave them frozen in storage (sometimes indefinitely), donate them to research or give them up to another couple/family who are trying to have a family (adoption), or destroy them. This is a difficult choice for many and the prospect of continuous indefinite storage is posing problems for fertility clinics. And there are no easy answers.

Law Not Always Clear on How to Move Forward

But, there are many interesting things that are beginning to pop up related to this growing issue in our country. One difficult situation arises when a couple disagrees on what to do with the frozen embryos, or the decision is complicated by a couple’s separation or divorce.   The courts are working to catch up on this issue but the law is not yet clear on how best to move forward. Is this another version of a custody battle?

Law offices are actually beginning to take on these cases – especially if they are taken in the context of a dissolution or custody/paternity action. The lawyers at Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn are committed to helping people find workable solutions to these difficult and complex problems. One of our areas of special focus is child custody issues. How to navigate the complicated issue of what to do with frozen embryos after they are not needed (especially if a couple disagrees) is a breakthrough area in our culture and in the law. We can try to help you navigate this process from a legal angle and can provide information and support.

Minnesota Embryo Custody Dispute Help

If you have questions about the legal implications of frozen embryos, give our team a call at 1-763-427-5131 or email us ( or for more information about our law practice and how we might be able to help.