In 2014, Hollywood actress Sofia Vergara, who is perhaps most-famous for
her role in the sitcom
Modern Family, was sued by her ex-fiancé, Nick Loeb, for
custody of her two frozen embryos. The lawsuit raised interesting and controversial
questions about when
paternity rights began. Not to be deterred by that lawsuit’s lackluster performance
in the courts, Loeb has once again sued Vergara for custody of the embryos,
but this time cited two additional plaintiffs: the two frozen embryos
that he has named “Emma” and “Isabella”.
According to the lawsuit’s language, “Emma” and “Isabella”
have been deprived significant inheritance from a trust that has already
been created for them in Louisiana, where the lawsuit was filed. Loeb
is once again seeking custody for both embryos so that each can be developed
into a child, who would then receive that trust. The newest twist in the
lawsuit runs parallel to anti-abortion claims and could have impact on
abortion law in the future, as it implies the embryos not only have identities
but also established rights.
Are There Legal Grounds for the Embryo Lawsuit?
The newly-filed complaint is attempting to cite potential clerical errors
that could void the contract in both California where it was created and
Louisiana. The agreement that both Loeb and Vergara signed initially when
creating the embryos states that both “parents” must consent
when any unilateral action is enacted; essentially, without both Vergara’s
and Loeb’s approval, the embryos cannot be unfrozen and developed.
There is, however, no clear clause that explains who gains and loses what
rights over the embryos if the couple ended their relationship. It is
this lack of clarity that Loeb hopes will be seen as the grounds to void
Many, including Vergara, have criticized Loeb for pressing the lawsuits
further just for publicity and time in the spotlight. No matter his motives,
the case is unique enough to continue gathering national attention for
its implications of paternity rights.
For more information about the ongoing lawsuit, you can read an online
article published by
clicking here. Be sure to
visit our blog frequently for any critical updates to the story. If you need legal help
for a paternity or
family law issue that is troubling you, feel free to call
323.212.5599 to connect with Castellanos & Associates, APLC and our Los Angeles