Missouri Appeals Court Rules Embryos are Property, NOT Life

Frozen Embryos in Divorce

Frozen Embryos Divorce/Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Court Rules Embryos are Property

Once again, another Court in a embryo custody dispute, has ruled against the party wanting to keep the embryos.

Warning: This area of law is highly sensitive and controversial, and you should probably not read this blog post if you are easily triggered.

Missouri Ruling

The Missouri Appeals court ruled that the frozen embryos were joint property, and requires the consent of both parties in order to be implanted.  The parties are ex-wife McQueen (age 44) and ex-husband Gadberry (age 34).

Parties Agreed to Embryos

During the marriage, Gadberry and McQueen agreed to freeze Gadberry’s sperm before deployment in 2005.  In 2007, they agreed to use the semen to fertilize her eggs to create 4 embryos. 2 were implanted in her, and she gave birth to twin boys in November 2007.

Parties Divorce

The other 2 were frozen at a bank.  The parties then decide to divorce.  What now?  McQueen wants to keep the embryos, claiming they are life.  Gadberry claims it violates his Constitutional rights.  The trial court ruled for father.  The Appeals court did too.

Wife’s Lawyer Argued Embryos NOT Property

McQueen’s lawyer, Steve Clark, said the two judges who ruled against McQueen “essentially created law out of thin air” by casting the embryos as property, and “they do not and cannot point to any holding of the U.S Supreme Court that says there’s some sort of right not to procreate.”

Husband’s Lawyer Argued No One Should Be Forced to Be Parent Against Will

Gadberry’s attorney countered that “my client should not be forced to become a parent against his will.” Compelling a frozen embryo to be implanted without consent of both people who created it, Tim Schlesinger added, “subjects private citizens to unwarranted governmental intrusion.”  and “What about the people who have six, eight or 10 frozen embryos? Are they required to have six, eight or 10 children?” he said.

I think the Court reached the correct decision.  I do not believe the embryos should be implanted UNLESS both agree – whether it’s the man wanting the implantation or the woman.  Sophia Vergara’s case is set for trial later this year (she is the one seeking destruction of the embryos).

Frozen Embryos in Divorce

For further reading, please review my previous blog posts here.


Sofia Vergara’s Ex Sues Her to Protect Frozen Embryos

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