Fertility and Divorce

In case you missed it, NYT had an interesting Op-Ed on Friday that addressed the inclusion of money for fertility treatments in divorce settlements – and made some suggestions about how to address fertility issues in prenups. Take a look here.

As prices drop, I wonder if/when it will become commonplace for women to start banking some “just in case” eggs in their early twenties as a matter of course. Some eager-to-be grandparents have already started the trend.

Holly Fernandez Lynch

Holly Fernandez Lynch

Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, is the John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is also the Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education, helping to lead the university’s first online master’s degree, the Master of Health Care Innovation, and other online offerings.

2 thoughts to “Fertility and Divorce”

  1. Thanks for the post, Holly.
    As you might guess based upon my previous posts when egg harvesting was removed from the experimental list by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine last fall, http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2012/11/01/binders-of-women-reflections-on-asrm-annual-meeting-round-2/
    I think egg freezing is a complicated issue. The article mentions the slippery slope of payment for lost “youth” in the form of payments for cosmetic surgery paid to the divorced wife (a problematic statement given that men also lose their “youth”), but the article misses a key point in the science of reproductive technology and fertility preservation. While frozen eggs may be a new method to maintain genetic fertility, it does nothing to preserve a woman’s gestational capacity. Perhaps this simply means that the prenup or alimony calculations should include an additional $30K to pay for a surrogate to gestate the embryo/fetus?
    The article highlights the problem that freezing eggs may create false hope for women who think freezing eggs may preserve fertility for decades. How we develop informed consent/consumer protection in this regard remains to be seen.

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