A Legal Foundation For Your Family

4 topics in frozen embryo consent forms

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Assisted Reproduction

Embryos can be frozen for a significantly long time. Many people will freeze them for 10 years or so. But it is technically possible to freeze them for longer; some labs can do so for 55 years or more

Because this can be such a long-term commitment, there are a number of different consent forms people generally need to sign when having their embryos frozen. These will address important areas that may become relevant in the future. Four examples are noted below. 

The expected duration

First of all, you need to specify the length of time you want the embryos to be stored for. This should be well-defined from the beginning, although it may be updated in the future. You could start with 10 years and then extend it if needed, for instance. 

What happens if you are unavailable

Next, consider who will make decisions for you – regarding your embryos – if you’re unable to do so. This could be due to incapacitation or because you have passed away. Who has the legal power to make key decisions on your behalf?

Other ways to use the embryos

Many people store their embryos only for their own use in the future. But you could technically allow them to be used for research, training or treatment options for another individual, if you would like.

Any additional considerations

Finally, there may be other conditions that you want to define regarding how the embryos should be stored or used. It is generally best to get everything in writing from the very beginning.

As you can see, freezing embryos can be complex. Be sure you understand exactly what legal steps to take as you work your way through this process.