BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 2 August, 2002, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Ex-couple 'wrangle over IVF embryos'
IVF
The couple split up after creating IVF embryos
A woman who has cancer is fighting her former fiancÚ over "ownership" of six embryos stored in a clinic, it is reported.

Eggs were taken from Natallie Evans' diseased ovaries and fertilised by Howard Johnston before the couple split up, according to the Sun newspaper.

Ms Evans, 30, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, says implanting the embryos is her only hope of ever having her own children.

But Mr Johnston, 25, from Gloucester, is reported to be threatening to have the embryos destroyed unless she signs a legal agreement saying he will not be liable to support any children that are born.

Financial fears

The couple donated eggs and sperm at the clinic late last year, and the embryos were created shortly afterwards, said the paper.

Ms Evans said Mr Johnston signed a consent form at the time saying his sperm and any resulting embryos could be stored for 10 years - even if he died or became mentally ill.


I don't want to get nasty about it - but if I win the Lottery next week half of it could be taken from me

Howard Johnston

But there was no clause about what would happen if the couple parted after the embryos had been created.

Ms Evans said after the couple split up two months ago, she offered to sign a contract promising not to name Mr Johnston as the father, nor to claim any maintenance from him.

She said he had told her that was not necessary - but then appeared to change his mind.

Clinic letter

She told the paper she had received a letter from the Bath fertility clinic saying Mr Johnston had asked for confirmation that she could not use the embryos without his knowledge.


They're my only hope of ever having my own children

Natallie Evans
The clinic also told her Mr Johnston had requested the embryos be allowed to perish - but said it would take no action until it heard from Ms Evans.

She is now consulting lawyers to see what her options are.

Mr Johnston told the paper he did not necessarily want the embryos destroyed - but he was determined to get an agreement ensuring he would not have to support a child.

"I don't want to get nasty about it. But if I win the Lottery next week half of it could be taken from me.

"I think I'm well within my rights to want some sort of legislation in place."

Ms Evans had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after the embryos were created.

She said that if she had known Mr Johnston had had doubts, she would have had her eggs frozen for later use.


Click here to go to BBC Gloucestershire

Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

18 Jul 02 | Health
12 Apr 02 | England
31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
26 Jul 99 | Medical notes
08 Jul 02 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes