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In fact, Ms. Kalb’s article is one of many that highlight the tremendous struggle many couples have when it comes to deciding the fate of their frozen embryos once their families are complete.

Many people cannot decide whether to thaw or donate, so they are choosing Door No. 3: Do nothing.

This, of course, is contributing to a massive inventory of “souls on ice,” as a 2006 Mother Jones article by Liza Mundy put it. (“I have embryos that have been here since 1992,” one Los Angeles fertility doctor lamented to Ms. Mundy.)

In my talk with Dr. Keenan, he raised an issue I had never heard before but will repeat here.

What, he wanted to know, will become of embryos that end up as part of their parents’ estate? “There’s an inheritance problem for children — cryopreserved siblings.”

I didn’t have an answer for him. The idea of frozen embryos outliving their parents was just, well, inconceivable.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at