The Great Lakes Justice Center has the privilege of representing Gloria Karungi.
Full Case Name: Gloria Kato Karungi v. Ronald Lee Ejalu.
File No.: 2016-841198-DS
Court: Oakland Count Circuit Court
Great Lakes Justice Center Role: Representing Plaintiff Gloria Karungi.
Date: October 29, 2021.
The Michigan Court of Appeals has again reversed and remanded the Karungi frozen embryo case back to Oakland County Circuit Court for further proceedings, including deciding the issue of “the life-status of the embryos or whether child custody law applies…” Ms. Karungi filed her brief with Oakland County Circuit Judge Lisa Langton and is requesting that the court grant her custody of the embryos. Copies of the Court of Appeals opinion and her trial court brief are available below.
The issue in this case revolves around whether the embryos are mere property or are life that is deserving of the court’s protection. The Court of Appeals has now clearly stated that the trial court can determine “the life-status” of these embryos. Michigan law currently protects embryos at all stages of life, for example, in wrongful death actions involving a fetus, restrictions on research involving embryos, and protection of embryos’ property rights in estates.
This case involves cryopreserved embryos and who has the authority to decide their fate. The original judgment stated that a decision on the frozen embryos issue was “preserved for resolution” by the trial court. Subsequent litigation resulted in two denials of Ms. Karungi’s request to be able to bring at least one of the embryos to full term. Ms. Karungi requested custody partially so she could have another child to potentially help her 11-year-old daughter treat her sickle cell disease with stem cells from the baby’s umbilical cord. The Court of Appeals has now reversed the trial court twice and again remanded the case back for further proceedings.
Ms. Karungi is willing to waive any child support or other obligations that the Defendant might incur. As a mother, Ms. Karungi has the constitutional right to make decisions affecting her body and her pre-born children after fertilization. She simply wants to have custody and prevent the destruction of the embryos.
David A. Kallman, Senior Legal Counsel, stated, “The Great Lakes Justice Center fights for the voiceless and stands ready to defend Ms. Karungi’s constitutional right to protect her children.”
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