Catholic World News

Missouri court: embryos conceived through IVF are property, not children

November 22, 2016

A Missouri court has ruled that two embryos conceived through in-vitro fertilization are marital property, not children, and that both parties to a divorce must consent to their implantation.

The embryonic children of Justin Gadberry, now 34, and Jalesia McQueen, now 44, were frozen in 2007 while the two were married. McQueen wants the embryos to be implanted in her womb; her ex-husband wants them destroyed or used for research.

The court’s majority accepted Gadberry’s contention that he has a “right not to procreate.” Judge James Dowd dissented, writing, “Missouri law makes one thing abundantly clear: the two embryos at issue in this case are human beings with protectable interests in life, health and well-being.”


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: brownjudith2930 - Nov. 23, 2016 12:30 AM ET USA

    Run that by me again: the embryos are marital property, not children; the embryos are human beings with protectable interests!

  • Posted by: WNS3234 - Nov. 22, 2016 7:27 PM ET USA

    Sounds like an echo of the Dred Scott decision; no small irony there.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Nov. 22, 2016 6:11 PM ET USA

    As usual any more, the courts get it wrong and Gadberry leads the charge. Dear Judges (except for the intelligent Dowd): it should have occurred to you that indeed Gadberry has already procreated, oh, I almost forgot, you buy into the "blob of tissue" argument which, in this case, evidently trumps the almighty women's rights.

  • Posted by: nix898049 - Nov. 22, 2016 4:41 PM ET USA

    Isn't he a bit late in exercising his 'right'?