This article addresses the various reasons and legal arguments for treating embryos as life, or in the alternative as property. In particular, this article analyzes the legal status of frozen embryos in a marital dissolution proceeding from a custodial point of view and a marital property point of view. Part I sets forth a broad policy perspective on the doctrinal choices that must be made in determining the legal status of the embryo. Part II first explores the possibility of classifying frozen embryos as human life and then presents a legal analysis, derived from the general principles of family law, for treating frozen embryos as minor children in a marital dissolution proceeding. Part III explores the possibility of classifying frozen embryos as property and then more specifically as marital property in a marital dissolution proceeding. Part IV concludes that state legislation is needed stating that embryos should be treated as property and not as human life.
Natalie K. Young,
Frozen Embryos: New Technology Meets Family Law, 21 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.