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Scientific Frontier: artificial wombs and the legal issues

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2017 | Child Custody |

Artificial wombs sound like a concept straight out of a science-fiction movie. Children being born in vats or tubes, rather than biologically. Artificial wombs open up an entirely new area of scientific development that promises to upend current laws and how society addresses them. Everything from artificial wombs to designer babies is all within scientific reach in the next decade or two. It is thus incumbent upon society to understand these advances and determine how best to address them.

Some people may ask, why are artificial wombs necessary? Humans are capable of reproducing biologically, so what is the point of the research? Scientists point to the possibility of life-saving procedures for early-life embryos who would not otherwise survive outside of the womb. Additionally, artificial wombs provide opportunities for parents who struggle to conceive.

Artificial wombs present a host of issues reminiscent of artificial insemination decades ago. Once this technology becomes viable and widespread, society will need a set of rules to govern them. For instance, since the rise of artificial insemination, there is now an entire body of law and liability regarding the stored sperm and eggs. Clinics are under strict duties to protect the semen and egg samples from harm. Additionally, some people wage extensive custody battles over who has rights to these samples. These questions and more will need to be settled before artificial wombs become an accepted medical practice.

If you are engaged in a child custody dispute, you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. Luckily, most child custody disputes do not deal with esoteric issues presented by artificial wombs. These issues are settled with facts and well-honed legal arguments. An attorney can help you prepare for your custody dispute by framing your argument as what is in the best interests of the child. The courts are only concerned with what will help the child, not you.