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IVF, Multiple Parents, and Custody Issues

There are women all over the world who are not able to naturally conceive children. These women have traditionally been told that they do not have many options outside of adoption, that is, until the development of IVF, or in-vitro fertilization.

In-vitro fertilization is a medical procedure that fertilizes an egg in a test tube prior to implanting it in a uterus, which drastically increases the likelihood of a woman bearing one or multiple children. Since then, further technological advances have been made in IVF treatment to now include three parents.

Potential concerns

Three-parent in-vitro fertilization involves a range of techniques that are utilized by couples who seek to lower their potential child’s risk of genetic mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial diseases take the lives of many children who are not able to sustain their heartbeat.

The use of additional DNA from another donor helps lower or potentially eliminate the genetic disease.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in the United Kingdom has made the historic decision to legalize three-person IVF in order to help potential parents eliminate the risk of disease while being able to have their own biological children.


There are complications, however, when there are three genetic parents involved in IVF. Critics warn that this could lead to an increase in the desire to produce designer babies, letting parents pick and choose the features of their children. Currently, the license to utilize the practice is only available to those who pose a very high risk of passing the mitochondrial disease to their children.

The UK is not the only country to see babies born as the result of three-person IVF. A Puerto Rican couple from New York had the procedure performed in Mexico last year, and a Ukrainian couple gave birth this year as a result of three-person IVF.

Issues of legality arise concerning the technique used as well as the discarding of embryos that are not viable. Additionally, while those who seek to utilize the procedure will have to go through a rigorous background check process and genetic testing, as the procedure becomes more common in other countries, issues concerning custody rights may begin to arise.

Currently, disparities exist between countries regarding their legalization, which will also influence many families and their situations. As this practice becomes more commonplace, ensuring that papers are properly filed as to child custody is essential to avoiding a legal battle.

Child Custody Issues?

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties enforcing a child custody order or obtaining what they believe is proper child custody, call the experienced legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at 614-228-3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or

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