Custody Battle over Sofia Vergara’s Embryos

January 20, 2017

Nick Loeb, Sofia Vergara’s ex, is pursuing custody of two frozen embryos, Emma and Isabella. The couple split up in 2014; Loeb previously sought custody of the embryos. The lawsuit claims that the embryos are due an inheritance via a trust in Louisiana, but they cannot claim it as they have not been born. The embryos are physically in California.

Louisiana has determined that a fertilized egg is a person, which differs from California law. However, Loeb is not named as a plaintiff. Instead, a separate trustee has been listed as a plaintiff.

Vergara, who stars in the sit-com, “Modern Family,” created the embryos via in-vitro fertilization in 2013. The couple allegedly signed a contract stating that they both must agree regarding the handling the embryos. Vergara reportedly has denied permission for the embryos to be given to a surrogate mother to be birthed.

The plaintiff’s legal team has stated that both parties knew that the purpose of IVF was to bring the embryos to full term. According to text message records, four embryos originally survived. However, additional information states that the embryos would remain frozen and only brought to term if both of them agreed to this course of action. Vergara does not want the babies born now that she and Loeb have split up. On the other hand, Loeb, with a strong pro-life stance, believes the babies have a right to live.

Vergara’s legal team further contends that Loeb’s reported pro-life beliefs are nothing more than a publicity stunt, since he previously consented to abortions for two former girlfriends. Depositions on the two women, as yet unnamed, remain in limbo.

Vergara has now married an actor. She has one son from a prior relationship. Her attorney believes that Loeb’s case will fail. He further cites the written agreement both parties made prior to the pregnancy.

A key focus in the case is specifically when a fertilized egg is considered to be a viable human being. If you have questions on specific family law matters, contact our office to find out your rights and for answers to your legal questions.