Whose Egg Is It, Anyway? An Embryo-Custody Battle

She’s desperate to bear a child; he refuses to be the father. While Augusta and Randy Roman duke it out in court, three embryos they created together are on ice. Welcome to the custody battle of the future.

By Louise Farr

These days she is sending less of her $40,000-a-year salary home to Nigeria. Although her family is encouraging, she says, they’re shocked by what she is spending on her fight. "When you’re making $250 a month and your sister is spending $250 an hour [on lawyers], it doesn’t make sense," Augusta says. "I tell them, ‘This is for my family. This is for my future.’"
For now, the embryos remain at the Center of Reproductive Medicine in a locked, alarm-equipped container in a locked, alarm-equipped room. The hospital where Augusta works is right next door. When she drives her old Honda Del Sol from the hospital parking lot onto palm-lined Medical Center Drive, she glances over at the low-slung clinic building where the embryos lie. "If I could just reach out and get them…" she muses. "But you can’t do that."
Originally published in MORE magazine, September 2006.

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