"If there's no written agreement, it's a free-for-all," she says. "That's where you're going to have all the lawsuits."

The rights of parties are either determined by contract law or statute, and at this point, there aren't many statutes, and there isn't much case law, says Marlene Eskind Moses, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. For that reason, it's critically important that the contracts between parties and depositaries of genetic material have a clear understanding of what the circumstances will be, under any situation, she says.

"Things can go wrong, and it's not something that should be left up to a determination later," Eskind Moses says. "You don't want to rely on the courts at that point. It's expensive to litigate, and it could have been addressed at the front end."   

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