My name is Mimi Lee. Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, a San Francisco Court rendered a decision that would devastate and change my life forever. A single judge determined the fate of my five embryos that my ex-husband and I had intentionally created after my shocking diagnosis of breast cancer. I put my own health at risk by undergoing IVF to preserve our ability to have biological children and raise a family together. Our marriage did not survive, but my desire to have children did. He took me to court and spent millions to make sure that our embryos were destroyed.
My marriage, cancer diagnosis, infertility, divorce, and trial was heavily followed, covered, and debated by international media. However, as most news pieces go, the “facts” were incomplete at best. In the end, I was bound by agreement not to pursue an appeal, so that we could finalize our divorce. At that point, I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially drained.
My baby embryos were taken away from me in the most inhumane manner imaginable, before I even had the chance to become their mom. My story is one that I hope will help educate others on legal side of fertility – so that no one ever needs to endure the torture and heartbreak that I did. If I can change the course of even just one life, it would be another small step closer to finding peace.
“My story is one that I hope will help educate others on legal side of fertility.” –Mimi Lee
Eggology Club Podcast — Season 2 Episode 17 — Baby Embryos
LinkedIn Mimi Lee
Website Baby Embryos
Website Mimi Lee
3 thoughts on “Mimi Lee”
Mimi Lee your journey is so so so touching and inspiring, my heart goes to you. I teared up as many times as you and Valerie listening to the interview. I want to thank both you and Valerie to share your experience in the most candid way possible. As an infertility survivor who has undergone IVF, I know how stressful the overall process is; top of with cancer diagnosis, wedding plans, and more. If I were in your position, I’d have acted exactly similar without a doubt. Who in the world thinks about divorce or other disputes in such situations?? Going public with your story is only going help people be more aware of legal considerations of IVF process.
Despite all the efforts of awareness, I’m very confident that there would still be many more couples nationwide or worldwide undergoing IVF process that would have either not heard about such disputes or the fertility clinics would not spend enough efforts in educating them. As a member of learned society, what can we do to reach out to them and protect them is my question. Can we have governing agencies issue a new guideline for IVF consent forms to include some such clause stating “if either of the partner become terminally infertile (due to cancer or ..) and the frozen embryos become the sole hope of having biological children, we mutually agree/disagree to award the custody of the embryos to infertile partner” At least this ensures that every single couple would get an opportunity to talk it out and then try to make informed decision and would not solely rely on courts decisions to resolve the dispute. It is my wishful thinking of perfect world, hoping one day!
Hi Mimi, I’ve been an infertility patient at UCSF and I signed those same forms. I felt the whole processed was rushed (15 minutes max), the forms were presented by the RE, no lawyer present to explain what I was signing off on. When I signed my pre-nuptial agreement, in order for it to be legally binding, I needed my own attorney to review it with me. Your story is absolutely heartbreaking and in my opinion unfair. It was disgusting how your career pursuits and past abortions were used against you. It’s always an uphill battle with women as we are constantly demonized for our choices to live equal lives with men. Thank you for your strength and courage to share your story. I wish you peace and love.
Now is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read a lot of posts on this site. I wish and desire you to be happy Mimi. You are such a survivor. Beating cancer is hard. You will be a mom someday.