Thursday, November 01, 2007
Custody battle or contract dispute?
Randy and Augusta Roman planned on starting a family. Like many other couples, they turned to in vitro fertilization.

In 2002, three frozen embryos were fertilized. But on the night before the embryos were to be implanted, Randy had second thoughts, telling Augusta he did not want her to go through the procedure.

Their marriage began to crumble. And in December, 2002 they divorced.

But who has control over the frozen embryos?

Randy wanted them destroyed. Augusta hoped to use them to have children. Their difference of opinion led to lawsuits.

A Texas trial court ruled in favor of Augusta. The court viewed the frozen embryos as community property and that awarding them to Augusta was "just and right." (Read the court's decision)

But an appellate court reversed the decision, finding that Randy and Augusta signed an agreement with the reproductive center that said the embryos would be discarded in the event of divorce.

Now, after the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Augusta is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case and rule in her favor.

Should a frozen embryo be considered community property, part of a contract, or a life?

-- By Gabe Falcon, "360" Writer
Posted By CNN: 5:11 PM ET
  11 Comments
It is quite difficult to determine what constitutes as a human life. Contractually speaking, the embryos were to be destroyed upon the couple's divorce. So, the most legal and logical solution would be to uphold that agreement.
Posted By Anonymous : 8:58 PM ET
Dear Gabe,

What good is the agreement with the reproductive center if the court can overturn it? You can't trust the courts to make this type of decision, it may very well depend on what side of the abortion issue the court is on. This is something that should be included in a pre nuptial agreement.

When are men going to learn? They must stop to realize that like it or not, once that egg is fertilized they could be held financially responsible for the next eighteen years as well as having to deal with their ex for the same amount of time. However, I don't believe a disgruntled ex-wife or ex-girlfriend should be allowed to hold a man hostage with a bunch of embryos.

Jo Ann
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 9:05 PM ET
Why, with all the unwanted children not just in the US but in other countries, do people have to "play God" with medical science? I would answer none of the above because I figure if God wants you to have children, he'll bless you with naturally conceived ones.
Posted By Anna B - Lexington, Ky. : 9:17 PM ET
I would move on if I were Augusta. Assuming her whole life is ahead of her and she'll remarry, wouldn't she want future children to be her new husband's own?
Posted By Lee , Dallas, TX : 9:19 PM ET
I can't relate - this whole "frozen " thing, with unborn embryoes and cryogenics is too creepy. Science can sometimes be a blessing, but this is curse and my heart goes out to those who can't have children.
Posted By jeanine , cleveland, oh. : 9:21 PM ET
definitely not community property because you cant' sell your children - unborn or living. So I think the contract between them should stand. Hope everything works out and they both find new happiness together!
Posted By barbara j.-- lincoln, ne. : 9:25 PM ET
People have differing viewpoints on whether human embryos constitute viable human life.

In this case, I don't think it matters. Augusta Roman wants the embryos and Randy Roman doesn't want them.

The courts should grant possession of the embryos to Augusta Roman with the stipulation she takes on full financial responsibility for the embryos so Randy Roman will not be financially responsible for any future children who could result from the implantation of these embryos.
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 9:25 PM ET
Gabe~
"Should a frozen embro be considered community property, part of a contract, or a life?"
The Answer?~All of the above
By the way, how do you tell a child they were once a frozen embryo?
Call me old fashion but that just sounds weird and unnatural.. . welcome to the 21st century~
Posted By BAT, Nacogdoches,TX : 9:31 PM ET
I think the Texas trail court made the right decision, but with the ex husband wanting the embroys destoyed I think there should be some kind of contract to were he wouldn't be resposible for the children in anyway shape or form. After all she's the one wanting to take on the responsiblity of having children alone.

Jennifer - Anderson, South Carolina
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 9:35 PM ET
In my opinion only, I'd say the embryos are a potential life.
As long as one of the splitting partners wants the embryos, then I'd say it's a custody battle.
No easy answers, but I don't think embryos should be destroyed unless both partners agree. And even then, it is a decision never to be taken lightly.
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 9:44 PM ET
After watching the piece last evening it struck me- this couple is not a pair of teeny-boppers incapable of adult reasoning. A contract is a contract. The view that there were too many forms to sign, and the only thought uppermost in her mind was having a child- does not wash. Any agency dealing with this type of situation goes over and over the forms- just to prevent this very thing from occurring. If she wishes a child- go through the extraction process and use donor sperm. I sympathize with her desire to have a child- but she is not honoring the contract and for that she must be held accountable. Another angle not mentioned- and I can understand why-is the root of the infertility- that shold be very closely examined in the court proceeding.If she is using this to continue to wreak punishment to her former husband- then she should be held accountable. I just don't hold much sympathy for two adults who made a choice, entered into a process- their relationship ended and now are spending a lot of time trying to undo what they set in motion.
Posted By Sherri : 9:58 AM ET
ABOUT THE BLOG
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.



ARCHIVES
• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007

SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.