Bitter divorce highlighted by fight over frozen embryos

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Ruby Torres just went through a heartbreaking divorce where a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either of them and will be donated. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ruby Torres just went through a heartbreaking divorce where a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either of them and will be donated. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A couple years ago, Torres and her then fiancee John Terrell, decided to undergo in vitro fertilization and freeze some embryos prior to Torres' chemotherapy and radiation treatments. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A couple years ago, Torres and her then fiancee John Terrell, decided to undergo in vitro fertilization and freeze some embryos prior to Torres' chemotherapy and radiation treatments. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was a court ruling Ruby Torres said was almost as painful as her battle with breast cancer.

"I was OK with my marriage being over because it was for the best," said Torres. "But it was harder to realize that I will never have a biological child."

The Phoenix attorney just went through a heartbreaking divorce where a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either of them and will be donated.

"We'd been together since 2009," said Torres. "I didn't think that we were going to separate or end in divorce."

A couple years ago, Torres and her then fiancee John Terrell, decided to undergo in vitro fertilization and freeze some embryos prior to Torres' chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

The idea was that if she could beat cancer, the couple could still have kids in the future.

But now, the marriage is over, and even though Torres' cancer is in remission, she can't use the embryos because the in-vitro contract she signed with her ex, required consent from both parties.

Terrell's attorney Allie Stoddard told the Arizona Republic recently:

"While she has an interest, my client also has an interest. No one wants her to be necessarily, deprived. You have to consider my client has rights also."

Torres said that Terrell was worried about having financial obligations to a child he wouldn't have a relationship with, but she never intended to ask for any money.

Because Arizona law is so vague in cases like this, Torres has some advice for any woman in a similar situation.

"If you are going to freeze anything, do keep some eggs separate," said Torres. "Ensure that there is something in writing, signed legally through an attorney or notary, something that says you will keep your embryos."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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