Woman In Frozen Embryo Case: ‘I Want My Embryos. I Want My Baby’

By Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times.


A woman fighting her former husband for custody of their frozen embryos called them “priceless” during testimony Thursday, declaring they were “my last chance to have my own baby.”

Dr. Mimi Lee, 46, an anesthesiologist, and Stephen Findley, 45, an executive with an investment firm, divorced in April but remain in court fighting over custody of five frozen embryos they made in 2010 after Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The couple separated in 2013, and a medical expert has testified that Lee is now infertile.

Earlier in the week, Findley testified that Lee had asked him during a conversation about the divorce whether the embryos were worth $1 million or $2 million.

Lee said she did not want money for them. “They are priceless to me,” she said.

She said she put a dollar value on them because Findley was “always focused on the numbers” and she wanted to force him to discuss the embryos. She said he had repeatedly refused to talk to her about them since deciding to divorce her.

Crying as she testified before a San Francisco County Superior Court family law judge, Lee recalled that Findley told her he wanted children, just not with her.

“‘I am dying to have my kid,'” she quoted him as saying. “‘I just don’t want them with you.’ And that was very difficult.”

Lee described herself as heartbroken that Findley decided he wanted to end the marriage. She said he had been her best friend since college, and she loved and trusted him. He proposed on a New York balcony strewn with rose petals, she recalled, and the pair had celebrated with champagne.

But just a few weeks before their wedding, she learned she had cancer. She said she and Findley both wanted to have children and decided to freeze embryos to enable them to have children in the future. A cancer drug she was prescribed would have endangered a fetus, she said.

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