When couples go to a fertility clinic, they entrust not only their health and money to that clinic but also their hopes for their family. For some couples whose long-term family plan relies on the potential of frozen embryos, however, clinics may not live up to the trust placed in them. Negligent fertility clinics may, without permission or even knowledge of their patients, destroy embryos. What can couples do in these difficult situations?
The unauthorized destruction of embryos can cut couples off from parenthood.
Many couples undergoing fertility services freeze embryos for future use, whether as a form of security in case an implanted embryo does not result in pregnancy or to delay parenthood. If negligent clinics destroy those embryos without authorization — whether through direct action or due to on-site issues like tank failure — it can leave couples without the chance to have biological children.
Families may face a significant financial and emotional struggle.
Fertility clinics’ reckless actions can be costly. Despite a growing number of employers addressing fertility services in their health insurance plans, less than one-third of employers offered fertility coverage in 2020. In addition, families can pay as much as $1,000 each year for clinics to house their embryos, sizable fees for embryos that may have already been destroyed. This means that the cost of these mistakes often falls on the shoulders of families already struggling with the emotional strain of their fertility challenges.
Do families have to face these challenges alone?
Thankfully, those whose embryos were destroyed without authorization have legal options available to them. Recent cases have involved significant compensation for families, and it is possible for others to hold reckless fertility clinics responsible for their actions.