Junior Lewis Davis and Mary Sue Davis, involved in divorce proceedings in Tennessee, are fighting over the control of their frozen embryos. Mary Davis says that the eggs are the result of years of surgery, tests and self-administered injections, and offer her her best chance of becoming a mother. “I would love to be a mother,” she says. “I’m not even sure I can go through the program again. It’s a very hard process, mentally and physically.”
But in his divorce petition Junior Davis asked for a temporary restraining order preventing his wife from having any of the seven eggs implanted. He called the eggs joint property, arguing that they represent his future and that he should be allowed to determine whether he becomes a father or not. Circuit Court Judge Dale Young granted the order, as lawyers searched for precedents to guide them. The only case with any similarity seems to be that of Mario and Elsa Rios, killed in a plane crash in 1983 after they had participated in an in-vitro fertilization program in Australia. Their frozen embryos are still in storage in Melbourne; they left no instructions about what to do with them in the event of their death.