Fertility Treatments Produce Heirs Their Parents Never Knew | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Fertility Treatments Produce Heirs Their Parents Never Knew

Fertility Treatments Produce Heirs Their Parents Never Knew

The number of children conceived through in vitro fertilization has increased dramatically over the last several years and is creating challenges with inheritance law.

John Olivieri, a partner at White & Case, discusses some of these challenges. For example, a couple who has embryos left over after having children through in vitro fertilization, could donate them to a woman giving her a child they created. However this could also create unintended consequences.

"It's not inconceivable now that if the father and mother of that embryo were to strike it rich, the child born of that other woman could say, 'Those are my genetic parents,'" said John M. Olivieri, a partner at White & Case. And if the child says that, chances are he or she would ask for a share of the genetic parents' wealth.

In this example, Mr. Olivieri said he would encourage couples to write into their estate documents that frozen embryos exist but that children born to someone else using those embryos are not considered descendants.