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Sofia Vergara, Nick Loeb, frozen embryos and consent

Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb's frozen embryo dispute shows the importance of the consent process when preparing for IVF

When couples prepare for an IVF cycle, most fertility clinics, ours included, require patients to sign a long consent form or often a series of forms. Many couples doing IVF will chose to freeze (rather than discard) any left over embryos. Before the embryos are frozen, the couple must sign a consent form stipulating what happens to the embryos if they abandon them, are unreachable or get divorced or separated. These are very difficult decisions for many couples going through fertility treatment and require them to think about the unthinkable: death, separation and divorce. 

Many couples balk at making these choices, but the dispute between Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb is a perfect illustration of why this is so important, and why fertility doctors and the staff at fertility clinics are insistent on this. These sorts of problems happen in the real world with everyday people, not just with celebrities. The best of way of preventing these disputes is to resolve it in advance.