Disposition of unclaimed embryos: an Ethics Committee opinion

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Programs should create and enforce written policies addressing the designation, retention, and disposal of unclaimed embryos. In the absence of program-specific policies, it is ethically permissible for a program or facility to consider embryos to have been unclaimed if a reasonable period of time has passed since contact with an individual or couple; efforts as outlined in the consent form have been made to contact the individual or couple; and no written instructions from the individual or couple with dispositional control exist concerning disposition.