Professor Lewis’ Article Published by Tennessee Law Review

Leon M. & Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis’ article entitled “You Belong To Me”: Unscrambling The Legal Ramifications of Recognizing a Property Right in Frozen Human Eggs, has been published in the Tennessee Law Review.  From the moment a parent brings a child home from the hospital, the parent claims an ownership interest in that child against everyone but the other parent. As a result, parents have a legal and moral obligation to financially and emotionally support their children unless they voluntarily terminate their parental rights. That obligation entitles parents to the freedom to raise their children with the least amount of governmental interference.  Society gives parents the space to rear their children because there is a presumption that parents will act in the best interests of their children. Generally, the availability and use of reproductive technology to conceive children provides people the opportunity to treat children like commodities. Most notably, a person is able to plan their idea of the “perfect” child or to reject one that he or she considers to be defective or unacceptable. Cryopreservation of eggs has given women even more reproductive freedom. Because of the increasing use of cryopreservation legislatures and courts will likely face the difficult task of deciding whether or not women should be able to treat their frozen eggs like any other personal property.

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