In California, embryos do not have standing, meaning that they are not people who can sue others to enforce their rights. However, in Louisiana, a person can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the embryos themselves, as opposed to claiming property rights over the embryos.
In this case, Loeb filed suit on behalf of the embryos in Louisiana, but the court ruled that the embryos lacked standing to sue in Louisiana as they were citizens of California – where they were conceived. This case tackles some complicated, broad questions about who gets to “own” and “control” what is done with embryos. Or even yet – do those embryos have their own rights? And for now, the answer in California at least – is no.
In this ever-changing world, technological advances continue to redefine the impact of the legal system on families. Early decisions on issues like this are extremely important, as they will set the standards for years to come.