Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Sofia Vergara & Ex Nick Loeb's Bitter Feud Over Frozen Embryos - My Take



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By Nkem Akinsoto

Nick Loeb and actress Sofia Vergara between 2012 and May 2014, when the couple split. Since then, Sofia has moved on, and is now engaged to fellow actor Joe Manganiello. But her past is coming back to make headlines as she and her ex battle over frozen embryos they made in planning a family while still engaged in 2013.

Sofia and Nick were using IVF to grow their family and had completed the first part successfully, which entailed combining her eggs and his sperm into female embryos in preparation to getting either Sofia or a surrogate pregnant. However, the couple split before their plans could end in pregnancy and a baby.

According to various news sources, the ex couple agreed that the frozen embryos will be destroyed if one party dies, but they did not consider what to do to the embryos if they split up. Nick Loeb claims that Sofia wants to destroy the embryos, but he wants to opportunity to continue with the surrogacy process and have his babies.

Nick released a statement to US Magazine thus;

“I have always strongly believed that life begins at fertilization and that every embryo is a life on the journey towards birth. I created these two female embryos with the purpose of taking them to term and not destruction, because I have always dreamed of being a father.

I have previously offered to waive any parental or financial responsibilities or obligations on the part of my ex, and to even give her the opportunity to be involved with the child in the future, should she change her mind. I take the responsibility and obligation of being a parent very seriously.

Creating an embryo in the natural way can lead to parenthood obligations, even where a man doesn’t want to become a father. Where a man does want to become a father, and wants to impose no obligations on the other party, he should have that corresponding right. However life comes to be created, it should have no determination on either the rights of wanting to be or the requirements of having to be a parent.”

However, Sofia's rep insists in a statement to People Magazine that Sofia has no plans to destroy the embryos but wants to freeze them indefinitely. Sofia’s attorney, Fred Silberberg, said in the statement;

“The claims made against Sofia Vergara by Nick Loeb are uncredible and hold no merit. Vergara has never wanted to destroy her embryos.

The agreement signed by Vergara and Loeb in November 2013 when the embryos were created states that no unilateral action can be taken with regard to the embryos unless both parties consent.

Furthermore, Vergara has never suggested that she wished to have the embryos destroyed. She has always maintained that they be kept frozen, a fact of which Loeb and his counsel have always been aware, despite Loeb’s statements to the contrary.

Vergara, who has happily moved on with her life, is content to leave the embryos frozen indefinitely as she has no desire to have children with her ex, which should be understandable given the circumstances.”

I honestly don't know who to believe here. Atala and I have been down the road of IVF before and had twice got to the stage where we had to sign documents after frozen eggs, embryos and sperm. In all these, the docs included options for divorce. Though no one plans or hopes to split up, you do have to put a choice for all option. I wonder how come theirs is missing that clause?

On social media, those who support him think that Nick has a right to those embryos just as much as Sofia because his DNA is involved, and Sofia should have made sure documents were put in place if they split in the future.

Those on Sofia's side of the discussion think Nick is just trying to hurt her with the story of the frozen embryos because Sofia has moved on and is engaged to another man.

One part of me wishes Sofia would be generous enough to have the embryos birthed, but having children with an ex definitely comes with it's own palava, even as he's writing statements now about taking 100% responsibility. The reality is usually different from what is planned. And what about the children that will now come into such a messy arrangement when there's really no need except what might be called one parent's selfishness?

The thing is that those freezing stuff can cost quite a penny so if one refuses to pay, it may be seen as wanting the embryos destroyed. My take is that both should try to come to an agreement that takes everyone into consideration, but especially the kids.




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