Birth After Death: Perpetuities and the New Reproductive Technologies


Contemporary developments in reproductive technology have generated extensive debate among lawyers, ethicists, legislators, the media, and the public. Concern has intensified recently in light of claimed attempts to clone human beings. One implication of the new reproductive technologies upon which few commentators have focused is their effect on the Rule Against Perpetuities. For example, what impact should the possible existence of frozen sperm or frozen embryos have upon the execution of wills and implementation of the Rule? This Article provides a thorough analysis of the Rule Against Perpetuities, its policies, and reformulations of the Rule. It further describes the serious problems that the new reproductive technologies pose for the viability of the Rule. Finally, it recommends reforms designed to protect the policy interests served by the Rule while addressing the implications of the new reproductive technologies.


Rule Against Perpetuities, Medical Science

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Georgia Law Review

Publication Information

38 Georgia Law Review 575 (2004)

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COinS Sharona Hoffman Faculty Bio