Colorado Supreme Court Remands Frozen Embryo Case

Supreme Court establishes test for lower courts deciding who gets frozen embryos after divorce

In a first-of-its-kind case in Colorado, the state Supreme Court has reversed a decision that awarded six leftover cryopreserved embryos from in vitro fertilization treatments to an ex-husband after a divorce. Another rare event: attorneys on both sides of the case are satisfied with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The practical lesson from the case, they said, is that couples should have a clear agreement from the outset of IVF about what to do with leftover embryos should they ever divorce.

Mandy and Drake Rooks separated in 2014, and a dispute has lingered over who has the right to frozen embryos left over from successful IVF treatments the couple underwent. They had three children from the procedures, and the remaining embryos contained the last of Mandy Rooks’ eggs. Mandy Rooks wanted more children, while Drake Rooks did not.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the November 5, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.