Assume Alice and Bob created together a frozen embryo, when Alice and Bob were partners and living together (i.e., Bob was not a sperm donor). Sometime later, Alice and Bob separated. In the event Alice wants to use the frozen embryo to have a child, but Bob doesn't want to have a child from this embryo, will Bob be still responsible for child support?

Does this depend on the contract that was signed when conceiving the frozen embryo? If so:

  1. Can the contract stipulate that Alice cannot have the child without Bob's consent?
  2. Can the contract stipulate that Bob will no be responsible for child support in the event that Alice have the child without Bob's consent?

By "Can the contract stipulate", I mean that the contract's clauses will be uphold by the court.

Alice and Bob created together the frozen embryo in California, and still live in California.

  • Most US states ow permit and encourage a contract sovereign such frozen embryos, and its provisions are usually honored. there have been a few cases on the subject, i understand. This is not an answer pending sources. Jun 12, 2021 at 0:34
  • @DavidSiegel thanks, will court uphold clauses stating 1) "Alice cannot have the child without Bob's consent?" and 2) "Bob will no be responsible for child support in the event that Alice have the child without Bob's consent?"? Jun 12, 2021 at 13:18
  • I don't know until I have done some research. If such cases have not come up and been decided, no one wil kn ow for sure., But I suspect that they have. Jun 12, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


No such child is legally possible

Australian law requires both partners’ consent at the time of implantation. Under Australian law, it is illegal for the embryo to be implanted in Alice (or anyone else), without both Alice’s and Bob’s consent.

  • Your source says that's the case for Victoria, but doesn't seem to make the claim that it's the case in all of Australia.
    – D M
    Jun 12, 2021 at 2:31
  • @DM Victoria is merely representative- AFAIK, the law is the same in all states and territories
    – Dale M
    Jun 12, 2021 at 3:03
  • "One case, in Western Australia, referred to as G and G [2007] FCWA 80, the court found that the approach should be to consider the original intentions of the parties... and the original consent". Of course, in that case the original agreement also didn't allow implantation if the couple broke up, so it could be that the court would have ruled differently if it were otherwise.
    – D M
    Jun 12, 2021 at 3:26
  • Evans v United Kingdom, 2007, also affirms this in the UK - consent is withdrawn by the sperm donor in the case of a fertilised embryo, the woman has no right to go ahead with use of the embryo to create a child. This case went all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, with Evans losing at each stage.
    – user28517
    Jun 14, 2021 at 3:23

According to this article, it seems that the contract clause 1 would be valid, but 2 would not.

Further, Dr. Lee’s claims that she would waive child-support were meaningless, as such agreements cannot be entered into in California. The judge found that the parties had to abide by the prior agreement, meaning that the embryos had to be destroyed as a result of the parties’ divorce.

(Empahsis mine.)

  • Thanks, I've read the court decision on it, and it sounds like the wanna-be mother ("Dr. Lee") was extremely manipulative (many changes in her testimonies, threat to husband, etc.). To quote the judgement, "this Court has serious concerns about Lee's credibility". She even got impeached for lying during her testimonies! This makes me wonder to what extent a court would order the destruction of the embryos if the spouse (mother or father) seems honest. (PS: I can't upvote because low rep) Jun 14, 2021 at 2:09
  • I think it's pretty clear the court says it would have ruled the same regardless of credibility. The credibility mostly came up in the context of a hypothetical "if this wasn't a valid agreement" scenario, but the court found that there was a valid agreement, and that was the actual basis for the decision.
    – D M
    Jun 14, 2021 at 3:30

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