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McQueen v. Gadberry was an Eastern District dissolution dispute over frozen pre-implantation embryos formed from McQueen’s eggs and Gadberry’s sperm. The St. Louis County trial court found the pre-embryos to be marital property of a special character and awarded them jointly to each of the former spouses. The appellate court affirmed. McQueen is an important decision because the finding that embryos are marital property was an issue of first impression that affects many Missouri families. Infertility is a common problem, couples frequently utilize assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to form families, and the extra frozen pre-implantation embryos (hereinafter pre-embryos) have fueled increasing legal disputes. Family law, health law, and estate planning attorneys should factor pre-embryo disposition into their repertoires.

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