A Manhattan woman is asking a judge to grant her access to frozen embryos so she can have a child — despite her ex-boyfriend’s attempts to stop her.
The New York Post obtained court records filed by Ilissa Watnik, 42, who is trying to access fertilized eggs she created three years ago with a former boyfriend, who wants to stop her.
Kevin Heldt sued to block her from obtaining the eggs last month. Now, Watnik feels she is running out of time and has accused her ex-boyfriend, who is now married to his third wife, of trying to stall her from getting pregnant until it’s too late.
Heldt and Watnik were a pair from 2014 and 2016, and Watnik was 39 she underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, with Heldt providing sperm samples and giving her daily estrogen injections.
“He was fully aware, as I was, that the procedure was designed to result in a pregnancy, and a pregnancy is designed to result in childbirth,” Watnik said in the court papers.
But the couple’s first attempt at IVF did not work, and the relationship had begun to deteriorate as Watnik was hoping to try again, “concerned that having only four remaining embryos gave me, at best, one or two more chances to get pregnant,” she said.
Heldt was no longer interested or supportive of a pregnancy, Watnik said in the court filing, and she postponed another attempts because she felt the stress of their souring relationship would hurt her chances of getting pregnant.
The relationship ended in 2016 and Watnik began the process of attempting IVF again last year. Before the breakup, the couple had signed consent forms at the fertility clinic, both agreeing that Watnik would get the embryos if the relationship ended.
But Heldt is attempting to withdraw his consent, and has reportedly refused to confirm the breakup with the fertility clinic, though he is now married to someone else. According to the New York Post, Heldt has claimed that he is worried about a financial burden that could come with Watnik having a child.
But Wantik says she doesn’t want anything from her ex.
“I have never relied on Kevin’s money. … I have a career and my own money,” Watnik reportedly said.
If she can’t use the embryos, she will have to attempt IVF all over again, this time with eggs that are years older.
“I am 42 years old. I want to be a mother. I want to raise a child,” she said.
“Given enough time, Kevin will simply run out my biological clock,” she charged. “I am asking the court to enforce what I thought were already-resolved contractual issues … I am asking the court to allow my use of those embryos so I may attempt (for a second time) to get pregnant.”
It does not appear that a judge has yet made a decision on the case.
[Feature image: Pixabay]