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Louisiana family law: Loeb files lawsuit for custody of embryos

The fight between Nick Loeb and Sofia Vergara isn’t over yet. Loeb recently filed a petition in a Louisiana court against Vergara for the sole custody of the embryos they had placed in cryopreservation when the two were engaged to be married. Loeb chose Louisiana to launch his case since the state considers embryos natural persons under family law. In the western state where he and Vergara  (who has since married) reside, embryos are considered property.

Loeb says people have been confusing the terms embryo and egg. An embryo, he says, belongs to both parties, equally.  The lawsuit asserts that the embryos — who have been named Emma and Isabella — should be awarded to Loeb, who is their father. This precedent-setting case is the first to shed light on the alleged rights of embryos.

The embryos came into being through vitro fertilization (IVF) in 2013. The then-couple planned to find a surrogate for the embryos, but broke up before that happened. Vergara wanted to keep the embryos in cryopreservation until they eventually died, which is what would happen, according to medical professionals. Despite a few setbacks, Loeb continues to fight for the embryos’ right to life.

This case is sure to set the standards for the rights of embryos, despite the fact that in 2017 a Louisiana judge threw the case out saying since the embryos were conceived in California, they are in fact, California citizens. Family law cases can be extremely complex. When it comes to these kinds of issues, legal counsel is likely always necessary. 

Source:, “Exclusive: Nick Loeb Files Lawsuit Against Sofia Vergara for Full Custody of Embryos“, Dr. Susan Berry, Jan. 10, 2018


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