Surrogacy, Egg and Embryo Donation,
In Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Insemination and Sperm Donation
Statistically, the numbers are staggering: one out of every six couples will experience a fertility related problem. Nearly 1,500,000 patients will seek medical treatment for their infertility this year alone. Of the 1,500,000 patients who will seek treatment, less than half will be rewarded with a pregnancy. For the 750,000 people who are not successful using conventional infertility treatments, only one option remains to them to begin their families – assisted reproductive technologies (commonly referred to as ART). Through techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), more than fifty thousand couples have enjoyed the miracle of starting a family.
Handling in excess of 500 surrogacy and egg donation arrangements each year, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive legal and counseling services to couples utilizing assisted reproduction. We have represented over two thousand couples from more than thirty five countries throughout the world who have used surrogacy and/or egg donation to experience the joys of parenthood. With ten full time attorneys, each client is ensured of receiving personalized attention, support and counseling.
The Gestational Surrogacy (In Vitro Fertilization) contract we prepare for our clients is the very same contract considered and validated by the California Supreme Court in the landmark Johnson v. Calvert case. Notably, we have never had a surrogate working with one of our clients change her mind.
Our attorneys travel throughout the world, presenting lectures on assisted reproduction and frequently appear in the international press addressing issues relating to surrogacy and egg donation. We have also authored numerous articles on third party reproduction, copies of which are available upon request.
Some of the services we provide to assist our clients include: counseling couples, surrogates and egg donors on the state of the law with respect to the different reproduction methods available; drafting of contract(s) between the couple and their surrogate and/or egg donor; and assisting couples in finalizing their parental rights. As part of legal counseling and contract drafting, we address, among others, the following issues:
Establishing the intent of the parties as to parental rights
Identifying the parties’ financial responsibility
Identifying the finalization procedures to be utilized
Ensuring all parties obtain informed consent
Requiring social disease testing, including HIV/AIDS
Ensuring the surrogate/donor is medically examined and screened
Discussing the current status of the law and the attendant risks
For more information on the legal aspects of assisted reproduction, please select your choices from the following pages:
In Vitro Fertilization and the Law:
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most prevalent and successful assisted reproductive treatment used today. While initially only used when women had blocked or missing fallopian tubes, today IVF has become the preferred treatment to counteract infertility. Offering a solution to a wide variety of infertility problems, IVF allows women who otherwise could not carry a child, the opportunity to bear a child. For those women who are medically unable to carry a child, IVF with a surrogate now gives couples the opportunity to have a child biologically related to them. In Vitro Fertilization with the use of an egg donor allows would-be mothers, whose ovaries fail to produce eggs, an answer to their infertility problems. With success rates now exceeding 70% per transfer, IVF has emerged as the most flexible and viable assisted reproductive technology available.
Artificial Insemination and the Law:
The oldest method of assisted reproduction, artificial insemination is the placement of sperm in the female reproductive tract. For couples experiencing infertility due to poor sperm count, motility or morphology, artificial insemination is often indicated, whether by use of the husband’s sperm or donor sperm. With respect to the use of donor sperm, the husband consents to the artificial insemination of his wife and agrees that the child will be treated by law as if it were the husband’s natural child. Adding to the flexibility of artificial insemination is the ability to use a surrogate where the woman is incapable of either conceiving or carrying a child to term.
Egg Donation and the Law:
Initially used to aid young women suffering from premature ovarian failure, Oocyte donation has become an extraordinary treatment for women of all ages who are incapable of producing viable eggs or are carriers of genetic diseases. With success rates approaching 50% per egg donation cycle and the availability of non-anonymous donors, oocyte donation has become a frequently used method of assisted reproduction. Whether the donor egg is transferred directly to the intended mother or into a surrogate, oocyte donation has provided would-be parents with options previously unavailable. Importantly, many jurisdictions treat the use of a donor egg similarly to that of donated sperm, thus obviating the need for an adoption as the intended mother is considered the legal mother of the child.
Guide to Infertility Options Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies:
A summary of the various technologies available as well as the legal, psychological and medical implications.
Journal of Assisted Reproductive Law:
A legal journal published as a service to the Assisted Reproductive community, highlighting recent issues in the field of assisted reproduction.