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In Battle Of The Exes, Appeals Court Sides With Woman Who Wants Frozen Embryos

(CBS) -- State appeals judges have handed a legal victory to a Chicago-area woman fighting for custody of the frozen embryos created by her and her now ex-boyfriend.

But as CBS 2's Mike Parker reports, the ex is not giving up without a fight.

Four years ago, Elgin paramedic Jacob Szafranski and his then-girlfriend, Dr. Karla Dunston, agreed to create frozen embryos in case they decided to have a child in the future.

Shortly after, the couple broke up, and Szafranski has been fighting Dunston's effort to get custody of the embryos so that she can get pregnant.

Friday, he lost a round in court. The Illinois Appellate Court ruled that the embryos should be turned over to the woman.

"These embryos were always created for one purpose ... and that was to allow Dr. Dunston to be able to have biological children," the woman's attorney, Sara Fletcher, says.

Szafranski says he feels like he's being forced to become a parent.

"If anything comes of those embryos, that is my child -- that is half of me," he says. "It feels like an out-of-body experience where somebody is going to determine your destiny, without even asking me."

Szafranski's lawyer says his next step is to appeal to the state's highest court.

"Having a child and becoming a parent is something that changes you forever," attorney Brian Schroeder says. "If this isn't a case that would warrant review by the Illinois Supreme Court, I don't know what is."

During their relationship, Dunston was diagnosed with lymphoma and treated successfully with chemotherapy that left her infertile.

Her attorney says the embryos represent her last chance to have a biological child.

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