THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late.My gut reaction is that no even an American family court would fall for such foolishness, but I have been wrong before.
This kind of scenario is playing out at fertility clinics across the country: a couple might have always planned to have kids but then the marriage unraveled; or they might have tried but failed to get pregnant; or they might have one child already, but the woman really wanted another. Now she’s 35. Or 38. Or 41. Could egg freezing help her save the last of her fertility?
That’s the hope of a 38-year-old woman who is a client of Ronald G. Lieberman, a family law attorney in Haddonfield, N.J. Mr. Lieberman is asking his client’s soon-to-be-former husband of eight years to pay $20,000 to cover her egg-freezing procedure, medication costs and several years of egg storage. “When they got married, the expectation was they would start a family,” he told me. “Now she might not have the chance much longer.” ...
Legal experts like Kevin Noble Maillard of Syracuse University speculate that a woman’s missed opportunities to have a baby during a marriage could be viewed as a form of “sacrifice” for which she should be compensated (in much the same way that a woman who put her husband through law school could expect to be compensated if he divorced her just before he reaped the financial rewards of the degree). And it helps rectify one of life’s greatest biological injustices: that men but not women can typically start a family well into middle age and beyond.
To be sure, the question of whether to include the cost of egg freezing as part of a divorce settlement is complex. What if he wanted to have kids earlier in the marriage, but she delayed it because of her career? Does it matter if they tried for several years or if he had the fertility problem?
Then there’s the slippery slope: if a woman is to receive money to save her declining fertility, what’s to stop her from claiming to need breast implants or a face-lift because she used up her youth in the marriage?
She doesn't need to freeze anything. She can just get inseminated at a sperm bank, if that is what she wants. Maybe her husband wanted kids, but decided that she would be an unfit mom after a couple of years of marriage.
At least a Canadian newspaper notices some unnecessay alarmism:
A new school year began on Tuesday, and Toronto’s often hysteria-prone news crews were geared up for the scare stories that always get served up by nervous parents this time of year.The Free Range Kids blog is the voice of reason on this subject.
It didn’t take long. A four-year-old Scarborough boy wandered into the wrong classroom on his first day in school, wearing the wrong nametag, and wasn’t immediately spotted. Cue panic: The police were notified, an alert went out, dozens of police with a K-9 unit turned up to scour the neighbourhood, terror spread. The little boy watched it all obliviously, until teachers spotted the mistake.
Later the same day, another four-year-old, named Alexander, got off the bus at the wrong stop after classes. He wasn’t far from home and was quickly spotted by a daycare worker who noticed a tag on his backpack and called the school. ...
Security is a legitimate concern — especially where children are concerned. And parents naturally slip into terror mode whenever a possible threat to their child arises. But Canadian schools now take the cake when it comes to hitting DEFCON 1 whenever a kid gets off at the wrong stop or spots a peanut in the lunch room.
He might be able to avoid paying her the $20,000 by paying his attorney $10,000. And her lawyer will also charge $10,000. Regardless of how the judge rules, the lawyers will congratulate themselves on their vigorous representation and the judge will go home satisfied that he or she is a hardworking public servant. The parties will both know that they acted on the advice of experienced legal counsel.
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